On Tuesday, as reported by WisPolitics.com, the Assembly voted 62-32 to overhaul reading assessments for Wisconsin grade schoolers. The bill has already cleared the Senate and now heads to Gov. Tony Evers' desk. Three Democrats joined majority Republicans in backing SB 454, which would replace the current reading readiness assessment program with a tiered early literacy screening program. Under the bill, students in 4K would take two tests per year, and those in 5K through second grade would take three tests per year. Individual reading programs and additional assessments would be required for students who score in the 25th percentile or lower. Dems in support included Reps. LaKeshia Myers and Dora Drake, both of Milwaukee, and Francesca Hong, of Madison. In this segment, Rep. Deb Andraca (D-Whitefish Bay), who opposed the bill, explained that while the bill's goal is good, it wouldn't be effective. Andraca said the bill would take time away from teaching students how to read and force teachers to spend that time on preparing for another standardized test. In response, Rep. Janel Brandtjen (R-Menomonee Falls), who supported the bill, said that this bill helps find a better way to teach reading because "not being able to read is a death sentence."

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