Stimulus money could open door to keeping kids in school longer, Nerad says

Gayle Worland:

If the State of Wisconsin wins federal stimulus dollars to help local districts lengthen their school days or their school year, Madison could be open to keeping kids in school for more learning time, according to Madison schools superintendent Dan Nerad.
Nerad’s comments followed an announcement Monday by Gov. Jim Doyle, who promoted the idea of longer school days when laying out a plan for the state’s application for a piece of $4.5 billion in federal education stimulus dollars known as “Race to the Top” funds.
Governors and educators across the country are waiting for the U.S. Department of Education to release “Race to the Top” guidelines this fall. States will then be on a fast track to apply for funds, said Doyle, whose other priorities for Wisconsin include overhauling student testing, making student test scores a factor in teacher evaluations, creating new data systems to track student and teacher performance, and changing the state aid funding formula so districts have more flexibility under caps limiting how many tax dollars they can collect.
“What I’m laying out today are the directions we’re taking in this application,” Doyle said. Teams from the governor’s office and the state Department of Instruction are working on the plans, but haven’t yet calculated how many dollars Wisconsin will request, he said.

I hope the local school district does not use these short term, borrowed funds for operating expenses….
Patrick Marley has more:

Gov. Jim Doyle said Monday the state must give control of Milwaukee schools to the mayor to put in a “good faith” application for federal economic stimulus funds.
He and state school Superintendent Tony Evers also said the state should tie teacher pay to student performance and give districts incentives to lengthen the school day or school year, particularly for students who need extra help.
Doyle said the education reforms he and Evers are advocating would require the steady push only a mayor can provide. Otherwise, school policy could “vacillate from year to year” with changes on the School Board, he said.