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U.S. Official Tours SAGE Classrsooms

Assistant U.S. Education Secretary Scott S. Fleming and Deidre Green

Assistant U.S. Education Secretary Scott S. Fleming visits with 2nd grader Deidre Green in a SAGE classroom at Glendale Elementary School in Madison. – Photo by Bill Hurley


As a result of his participation in the SAGE program, Nancy Sundal’s son “has made phenomonel progress in just six months,” his mother said. David McCullough’s two children “are really learning. You can really see the difference.” And Diane Anderson said SAGE has helped her son “tremendously.”

Those were among the glowing comments that Assistant U.S. Education Secretary Scott S. Fleming and U.S. Member of Congress Tammy Baldwin heard during a February 19 visit to Madison’s Glendale Elementary School, one of about 80 Wisconsin schools participating in the highly successful Student Achievement Guarantee in Education (SAGE) program. The program reduces class sizes in the lower elementary grades in schools with high concentrations of children from low-income families.

“SAGE has allowed us to shift from teaching curriculum to teaching children.”

Glendale 2nd-grade teacher Amy Kane said she used to teach in California, where she had 34 students in a class. Under SAGE, she said, she has 13 children and is able to meet their individual needs.

“I have a totally different job now – I teach children,” she said. “SAGE has allowed us to shift from teaching curriculum to teaching children.”

Kindergarten teacher Sheila Briggs said that with 15 children in her SAGE class, “a lot of behavior problems go away automatically.”

“I can look at each child and determine what they have, what they need and how I can help them get to the next level,” she said.

“With SAGE, all the kids can succeed, and they can feel that success,” she said. “We are able to make school fun for all kids – socially and academically.”

Fleming indicated he supports continued and expanded funding of SAGE and similar programs at the state and federal level.

“We don’t want to lose a single one of these kids,” he said.

    Posted February 23, 1999