Practitioners’ Recommendations to Improve the Academic Success of Economically Disadvantaged Students in Wisconsin

WCER Working Paper No. 2020-13

H. Rose Miesner, Chiara Packard, Taylor Laemmli, and Lyn MacGregor

December 2020, 21 pp.

ABSTRACT: Although policymakers generally appreciate the value of crafting policies that are responsive to teacher and principal voice, doing so in a systematic way is challenging. Educator voices in the room when policies are made are often those of teachers and principals closest to policymakers. In 2019, to broaden the range of educator voices available to policymakers in Wisconsin, we asked more than 2,200 teachers and 700 principals in public schools in Wisconsin how they would change policy to improve the academic success of economically disadvantaged students. In total, 1,559 teachers and 601 principals offered suggestions for changing policy across four categories: school level–academic, student level, school level–non-academic, and community level. Though we saw variation in responses based on percent of student body eligible for free and reduced-priced lunch, grade levels served (elementary, middle, high school) and community type (city, suburb, town, rural), many responses appear with similar frequency among practitioners across contexts—indicating promise for making broader changes that impact all schools.

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keywords: PK-12 education, teachers, principals, economically disadvantaged students, school policy