State Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor delivered the first ever virtual state of education address September 17, 2020. DPI Assistant State Superintendent for the Division for Student and School Success Keona Jones introduced the state superintendent. You may view the speech in its entirety below.
The address focused largely on the essential roles schools play for students, families, and communities, especially during the pandemic. Beyond teaching and learning, schools and libraries have stepped up to continue to provide meals, internet access, social and emotional support and services, and much more whether students learn from home or in school buildings.
In her address, Stanford Taylor emphasized how COVID-19 has elevated the need for school districts, libraries, education organizations, and agencies to collaborate to provide opportunities focused on educational equity. From health safety measures to a more specific focus on literacy, the continued commitment to students’ education and required services is paramount.
There was also a major focus on access and opportunity gaps, particularly for children of color, children living in poverty, children with special needs, and English learners. Providing schools with the means to administer much-needed supports for all children is imperative, and Stanford Taylor called on leaders to prioritize the resources needed for such supports through the biennial budget.
She voiced her concern over the number of teachers leaving the profession, while at the same time, there are not enough going into the profession. Maintaining support for educators, listening to their concerns and feedback while recruiting the next generation of educators and diversifying the educator workforce are things all districts should consider.
Finally, Stanford Taylor found hope in the voices of so many people currently fighting for the need to address racial and social justice. Her final message focused on the opportunity for change in schools and communities to remedy Wisconsin’s Black and White achievement gap and disrupt systemic educational inequities.
Visit the DPI website for the full transcript of the 2020 State of Education address.