Walker Says Education Bill Based on Task Forces is Nearing

Marion Herbert's picture
Friday, January 20, 2012

Before a crowd of hundreds of school district officials and school board members in Milwaukee, Gov. Scott Walker announced that recommendations from a variety of state education task forces will soon be solidified in formal legislation.

The work of three main groups spearheaded by Walker over the past year - a reading task force, a team that's looked at how to design a statewide teacher and principal evaluation system, and a group figuring out how to rate school quality - will make up a reform package of education legislation, Walker said.

Meanwhile, some critics questioned the governor's tone of collaboration and cooperation Thursday, saying that after cutting education spending and limiting collective bargaining, he's trying to play nice now only because he's likely facing a recall election.

Even state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers, who has worked closely with Walker on the task forces and praised the work of those involved, made it clear he was concerned about being left out of the legislation-drafting process.

"Despite my leadership in these arenas and constitutional authority, I have not been involved in the drafting of the education proposals that have been announced," Evers said in a news release.

In person, Evers' tone was less stern. He said he would be "a happy guy" if the legislation matches the spirit of the work put into the task forces by various bipartisan groups.

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