According to the State Department of Public Instruction, public schools are making big gains in reading comprehension. Some school districts saw double digit increases since last year on the 2003 Wisconsin Reading Comprehension Test.
One such school district is Antigo where the district's third graders scored 15 percent better than in 2002. "176 kids took the test and 161 tested proficient or advanced. We had over 90 percent at proficient or advanced levels, so we're very proud of those scores," says Reading Specialist Jan Hansford.
Besides smaller class sizes and very dedicated teachers, Hansford says she has to give credit for improved reading scores to parents who regularly read with their children.
Statewide, 81.1 percent of those taking the test scored proficient or advanced, compared with 74.1 percent scoring proficient or above last year, and while the reading test scores show a gap, it appears to be closing this year for children of color and economically disadvantaged students.