Wisconsin Teachers’ Union Calls The Shots on RTTT

With the approval of the Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC), Wisconsin legislators this week approved a decidedly tepid package of legislation supposedly designed to help the state win a Race To The Top grant.

WEAC, an affiliate of the National Education Association, is the state’s largest teachers’ union.

A Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story notes the WEAC role.  The article highlights the division of opinion on a bill that purports to allow student test scores to be used in evaluating teachers.  As I described in an earlier post this week, the actual language of the bill gives meaning to the old standby:  the devil’s in the details.  As one legislator quoted in the article explains, “This is a joke.”

Mainly reflecting WEAC’s opposition, the Legislature did not consider a measure that would transfer control of the Milwaukee Public Schools to the city’s mayor.

The legislative action followed President Obama’s visit to a Madison school earlier in the week.  The White House said the visit was intended to highlight positive steps being considered by the Legislature.  It remains to be seen whether Education Secretary Arne Duncan regards Wisconsin as worthy of receiving RTTT funds.

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