Secret Meetings Yield Education Policy Breakthroughs

UPDATED  9:15am – 4/12/10

MacIver News Service – [Madison, Wisc.] Democratic lawmakers and key players in the education policy arena may have struck a deal in an attempt to resolve two major education proposals, according to documents obtained by MacIver News Service.

A draft substitute amendment addresses the state’s application for a second round of federal Race to the Top grants as well as efforts to address performance issues with Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS). 

The proposed deal is a result of secret negotiations between Democratic legislators, representatives of the Doyle Administration, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers, MPS and WEAC, the state’s largest teachers union. 

Here is a copy of the draft amendment.

  • The legislation would empower local school boards to take a series of actions (many contingent on them being collectively bargained with local teachers’ union) if the State Superintendent of Public Instruction determines a school district in need of improvement for four consecutive years
  • The deal would require an analysis of low-performing schools, specifically what prevents them from keeping the best teachers and administrators in an attempt to keep the most qualified education professionals in the neediest schools
  • The draft provides for career counseling and transitional benefits for bad teachers who fail to improve after opportunities to do so have been provided
  • The legislation would mandate that MPS develop a master facilities plan to maximize the capacity of current buildings and manage the potential sale of empty schools and construction of any new facilities
  • The draft amendment does not address MPS governance issues, thus signalling that efforts to have the Mayor of Milwaukee assume control of the district appear to be dead

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