Legislative News in Wisconsin



Foundations of Reading enables teachers to learn how to teach reading using “ECORI” the Essential Components of Reading as addressed in IDEA Individuals with Disability Education Act. These foundational skills are important for all when learning to read.

Only one of which must be deficient for SLD (and therefore dyslexia) eligibility to attach. In other words, under the IDEA regulation, a child may be able to decode words adequately and comprehend passages at an average level for her age, but still be eligible for services under the IDEA if her reading fluency skills are deficient. Breaking out these three components of reading in the IDEA regulation is consistent with the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (“ESEA”), as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. That federal statute, which predated the latest reauthorization of the IDEA in 2004, defines the “essential components of reading instruction” (ECORI) to mean “explicit and systematic instruction” in five specific areas, all of which are needed:

  • (A) phonemic awareness,
  • (B) phonics,
  • (C) vocabulary development, [ IDEA combines these first three into “basic reading skill”]
  • (D) reading fluency, including oral reading skills, and
  • (E) reading comprehension strategies. 20 U.S.C. § 6368(3). 5

The U.S. Department of Education has explained that the “reference to ‘State- approved grade-level standards’ [in the IDEA] is intended to emphasize the alignment of the [IDEA] and the ESEA . . . .” 71 Fed. Reg. 46,652 (August 14, 2006); Add. 63.

The International Dyslexia Association has Knowledge and Practice standards that align to the foundational skills needed:



You may ask why should I care about the Foundations of Reading Test? Listen to renowned expert on Reading:  Louisa Moats Ed.D


Governor Walker’s “Read to lead taskforce” goal: Aimed at ensuring kids learn to read by fourth grade: https://walker.wi.gov/press-releases/gov-walker-releases-read-lead-report-plan

Since January 2014  resulting from Governor Walker’s “Read to Lead” task force a “Foundations of Reading Test” ( WI-ForT)  was recommended for all new teachers, reading specialists,  and special education staff.

  • The scores to pass the exam have been changed, standards are at risk of being lowered or eliminated.
  • Many workarounds have been put in place. 
  • Currently, other states are assisting teachers by having courses available to provide professional development.
  • The Wisconsin ForT does not provide one class allowing new teachers to learn, study and practice all the material on the test.
  • Sub-skills of reading are complex. 
  • The study guide is 140 pages long, what is the point of trying to pass a test instead of learning and understanding reading sub-skills?
  • How can new teachers effectively assist students in classrooms without this information? 
  • It seems like a very odd oversight that the courtesy of time and at least one class for new teachers is not included.
  •  This test helps to ensure teacher quality for Wisconsin and ALL kids, they deserve the best!  See below:


 Check out what the Wisconsin Foundations of Reading Covers here:




 Are you concerned that teachers aren’t being taught this information as the Read to Lead task force concluded?  Do you want to see better outcomes for all children in a skill used every day of their lives? Would you like to see Wisconsin reading scores improve? Share your thoughts with your elected officials call, email, and write! Find your State legislators here:



You are braver than you believe and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

A.A. Milne   Author, Poet, Playwright, and dyslexic


Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)