Assembly Republicans roll out a series of education reforms some of which undo changes in the last state budget. Mark Gottlieb of Port Washington says local schools are coming up short as they face increasing costs from pay and benefits which is leading to program cuts. He is proposing reestablishing arbitration factors for school employee contracts.
Gottlieb would also like to bring back Qualified Economic Offer and align them with revenue limits in an effort for communities and districts to better balance their books. The QEO, essentially a teacher pay cap that existed for 16 years, was repealed by Democrats last budget round.
Representative Brett Davis laid out ideas that included revamping student tests. He suggests instead of having 10th graders take the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts exam, all 11th graders should take an ACT based test that is aligned with state standards. The Republican from Oregon says although some high schoolers plan on skipping college, skills measured by ACT are essential in the workforce.
Davis adds that although No Child Left Behind measures whether a student is proficient at their grade level, the federal standards do not gauge a student’s progression over the course of the school year. He also praises the state Department of Public Instruction for implementing the Common Core standards initiative, meant to raise the bar on English language and math skills.
Assembly GOP lawmakers are suggesting a Governor’s summit on education be held in November of 2010 to focus on closing the achievement gap.