President Barack Obama handed out some difficult assignments Wednesday at a Madison middle school.
Elected leaders, educators, parents and students need to get these tasks done. The future of Wisconsin and our nation is at stake.
Obama didn’t sugar coat what needs to occur. He talked tough about closing failing schools and firing bad teachers. He told parents and students they were more responsible than anyone for student success, which hinges on high expectations and follow-through.
Yet the “educator in chief” also offered reassurance and rewards, including a chance to win hundreds of millions of dollars in competitive grants.
It’s time to act.
A day after Obama’s visit to Wright Middle School on Madison’s South Side, the Wisconsin Legislature barely approved a bill allowing student test scores to be used in teacher evaluations – something Obama specifically called for. Obama’s Education Secretary Arne Duncan had called Wisconsin’s ban on tying teachers to test data “ridiculous.”