State Superintendent highlights achievement gap, inequities amid COVID-19

Carolyn Stanford Taylor calls 2020 “a year of profound change.”
Published: Sep. 17, 2020 at 7:16 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -State Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor delivered her final “State of Education” address on Thursday, highlighting inequities and the achievement gap amid COVID-19.

Stanford Taylor said COVID-19 has exposed gaps and disparities in education and explained now is the time to make change.

“It is imperative schools and educators have the resources, equipment and support they need to deliver the education and school services every child deserves,” Stanford Taylor said.

In her speech, she explained every child is impacted by the pandemic. She highlighted access and opportunity gaps facing Wisconsin’s children of color, children living in poverty, children living with special needs and English learners.

She added these issues lie on top of unemployment, economic anxiety, homelessness, hunger and health disparities.

The state superintendent says she will seek increases in funding for special education and mental health services for students. She cited at least one in five students face a mental health issue, and nearly 60 percent of high school students self-reporting significant mental health needs before the extended school closures.

“Covid-19 has reinforced for many what we in education have always known, our schools are essential to students and families and communities and fundamental to our society,” Stanford Taylor said.

She said school officials will continue to follow guidance from public health officials when schools start to reopen.

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