From Madison Metropolitan School Board member Ali Muldrow: “The Forward Exam doesn’t tell you about how kids feel about reading or even their ability to read. It tells you how they feel about the Forward Exam. I’m going to use my own child as an example.
My child came home after taking the Forward Exam and said, ‘Mom, you forgot to opt me out of the exam. All my friends were opted out.’ She said, ‘I was really upset that I had to take it. Most of my friends didn’t have to take it, but then I told my teacher that and she said, “Don’t worry about it. It doesn’t count.”’ So, she just didn’t try very hard on it because she had been told it doesn’t count toward her grade. She really felt the impact of a lot of her classmates not having to take it.” Read more here. Hear more here.
Additional context from IRG Senior Research Director Quinton Klabon:
- Tragically, Madison is doing even worse than Milwaukee. Only 1 in 7 low-income Madison kids is on a college track in reading. Only 1 in 6 Latin students is. Only 1 in 11 Black children is. These numbers may be even better than the reality since about 15% skipped the state test.
- Also, to be clear, the exam does count! It’s federal law that 95% of kids take it! If only 85% did, Madison administrators now have to waste time and money holding community meetings about how to comply. Additionally, schools are heavily penalized on their state rating, hurting their standing.
- Shutting down schools for a year, closing them again in January 2022, and then publicly dismissing the results of your actions is scandalous.