School reform: D-
Gov. Jim Doyle and the Democratic-run Legislature failed to overhaul an outdated and unfair school financing system. And they made school budgets harder to balance in the future by lifting limits on teacher pay hikes. Even with Sen. Mark Miller, D-Madison, and Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Madison, chairing the state budget committee, Madison schools were stung by a huge and unforeseen cut in state aid.
Wisconsin was out of shape and finished way behind the pack in the first round of President Barack Obama’s “Race to the Top” competition, which is steering billions of dollars for education innovation to other states.
Despite Doyle’s best efforts, the Legislature also failed to shake up failing Milwaukee Public Schools. A meager bill giving the state schools superintendent some additional but limited power to force change in Milwaukee saves our leaders from an “F.”