Several education reforms seen as key to Wisconsin’s application for federal stimulus funding under the “Race to the Top” program cleared the Legislature before the end of the fall session, and Governor Jim Doyle will sign them today. The most controversial measure lifts a state prohibition on using test scores to evaluate teacher performance. “This isn’t about just being punative, this is about actually having the data to understand what’s going on,” said Doyle, calling the change “a step forward for Wisconsin.”
Governor Doyle, married to elementary school teacher Jessica Doyle, said he knows a set of test scores is hardly the only way to evaluate teachers. “Having said that though, it seems to me really equally ubsurd to say that that can’t be a factor at all,” he said. Doyle saidelimination of this so-called firewall on test scores, will be a key part Wisconsin’s application for part of $4.3 billion available through “Race to the Top.” Doyle will sign the bills at Madison’s J.C. Wright Middle School, the site of last week’s education address by President Obama.