State lawmakers discuss plan to track student performance at schools that receive taxpayer dollars.

Senator Luther Olsen (R-Ripon) is a co-author of the legislation (SB-286) that creates new standards for measuring performance at Wisconsin’s public and private schools getting taxpayer dollars. “And no matter if you’re a public school, a charter school, or a choice school … if you get a check, you’re gonna get a check-up.”

A yearly check-up, he says, to determine whether a school is performing according to standards or is failing.

Olsen chairs the Senate Education Committee, which held a hearing on the measure Thursday. He says it’s important to recognize attainment as well as value-added growth.

Olsen says the goal is not to shut down schools. It’s about doing better to help close the achievement gap. He hopes the legislative audit bureau will be “another set of eyes” to ensure transparency.

Schools get three years to perform before “the hammer comes down,” he says.

Officials of Catholic and other private schools in the voucher program spoke out against the plan, saying it’s flawed.

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