State council to look at books used in Wisconsin schools

The Council on Early Literacy Curricula’s purpose is to take some burden off school districts when choosing new teaching materials
The council, created by Wisconsin Act 20, is going to recommend learning materials for school districts
Published: Sep. 1, 2023 at 6:50 AM CDT

GRAND CHUTE, Wis. (WBAY) - A new council at the state level could impact the books your children read in school.

The Council on Early Literacy Curricula will focus on recommending things like short readers or decodeable texts that young students use every day in the classroom.

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) says it can be overwhelming to choose tools for classroom learning, so having a short list takes some stress off the school districts.

Essentially, the council will choose instructional materials it things that would be good for schools to consider, such as a new book it thinks should be on teachers’ radar in kindergarten through third grade.

“We want that to be representative based on gender, based on geographic location, based on race and ethnicity, so that we have an early literacy curricula council that is truly representative of our Wisconsin community,” Laura Adams, policy initiatives advisor for the DPI, said.

Nine selected members are getting to work right away, presenting their first list of recommendations in December.

Applications for new members to sit on the council are due by Sept. 8. Members must commit to serve on the council for at least 3 years; the workload is about 4 hours per week.

There are other ways parents can take part in helping their school district choose learning materials. “They should definitely reach out to their schools and they can ask questions about, ‘What is the literacy approach? How will you support my child?’ And most importantly, ‘Here are the things I know about my child,’” Adams suggests.