Education Roundup: Starting today, kindergarteners will be tested on how well they know letters, words and phonicsWisconsin News
-- Starting today, Wisconsin’s public school kindergarteners will be tested on how well they know letters, words, and phonics.
Starting today, Wisconsin’s public school kindergarteners will be tested on how well they know letters, words, and phonics. The purpose is to identify potential reading problems earlier, so they can be addressed before students get too far behind. In a statewide assessment, teachers will give kindergarteners oral directions in identifying phonics – and they’ll respond both verbally and in writing. In Racine, kindergarten teachers say they’ll use the results to work on skills with individual students – and with groups of youngsters who need the same type of help. The Racine Journal Times says it’s not a new concept in that city. A year ago, a new type of reading-and-math test was given to kindergarteners, with the goal of providing earlier help to youngsters who need it. The state assessment will replace the reading test, while Racine officials will continue the math testing this year.
More Wisconsin youngsters are going to school on a computer instead of in the classroom. Just over 49-hundred K-to-12 students attended the state’s virtual schools a year ago. Preliminary enrollment figures for this fall do not include the virtual charter schools, but the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel said 10 of last year’s 25 online schools had at least a 15-percent increase in enrollment in September. And seven of those schools had over 30-percent more students. Three more virtual schools opened for the first time this fall, for a total of 28 in the Badger State. Officials say it’s partially due to the fact that families had three months instead of the normal three weeks to apply for enrollments in any public school district in Wisconsin outside their own. Lawmakers voted a year ago to extend the open enrollment periods. Meanwhile, over half of the brick-and-mortar schools in the Milwaukee area saw their enrollments go down this fall. Officials partially blame the increase in virtual school enrollment. Lower birth rates and a drop in new home construction are also said to be factors.