An effort has been launched in the state Capitol to give the state schools superintendent broader authority to turn around struggling schools and position Wisconsin to better compete for millions of dollars in federal education grants.
Little fanfare has accompanied potential legislative changes that would allow the superintendent of public instruction to order curriculum and personnel changes in chronically failing schools. It didn’t even make the news release for Gov. Jim Doyle’s three-city announcement on Monday of educational changes he is seeking to help Wisconsin qualify for some of the $4.35 billion in Race to the Top funds from the U.S. Department of Education.
State Sen. John Lehman (D-Racine), chairman of the Senate Education Committee, said the idea of giving the state superintendent “super-duper powers” has attracted support from legislators and educational interest groups since it first surfaced earlier this month.
“There’s getting to be general agreement around these interventions,” he said.
Prior to any expansion of the Wisconsin DPI’s powers, I’d like to see them implement a usable and rigorous assessment system to replace the oft-criticized WKCE.
Perhaps, this is simply politics chasing new federal tax dollars….