Gov. Walker: Wisconsin to collaborate on statewide accountability system

July 11, 2011

For Immediate Release

Contact: Cullen Werwie, 608-267-7303

MADISON — Governor Scott Walker and State Superintendent Tony Evers will lead a collaborative effort with other educators, policymakers, and parents to develop a new statewide accountability system for education.

“Working together we can improve Wisconsin’s education accountability system,” said Governor Walker.  “We must ensure that our students are receiving an education that readies them for the challenges of the 21st century. That means making sure parents and educators have access to reliable information on how our children are being prepared by our schools and school districts.”

Wisconsin is pursuing a number of educational reforms, including academic standards, assessments, data systems, educator evaluation, and early reading. A design team will work collaboratively to develop a new accountability system for education to replace the broken, one-size-fits-all accountability imposed by No Child Left Behind,” Evers said. “Wisconsin has long been an education leader, and we can lead in state-developed accountability that gives parents, educators, and taxpayers solid information about how our students are achieving and how well our schools and districts are preparing them for future success.”

The overarching goal for the design team will be to develop a growth-based accountability system that will consider multiple measures of student and school performance focused on college and career readiness. Every publicly funded school — traditional public schools, charter schools, or choice schools — should be part of this new accountability system. The system will identify high-performing schools and replicate best practices across the state and provide technical assistance and support to improve the lowest-performing schools. The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) “Roadmap for Next-Generation State Accountability Systems” will be a resource for the design team’s work. With the help of the University of Wisconsin—Madison’s La Follette Institute of Public Affairs, the design team will participate in panel discussions later this summer to gain background information on developing an accountability system that provides accurate, transparent, and comprehensive information that promotes improvement in every school.

Walker and Evers will co-chair the design team along with the chairs of the Wisconsin Senate and Assembly education committees. Invited members will include representatives from Wisconsin Association of School Boards (WASB), Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators (WASDA), Association of Wisconsin School Administrators (AWSA), Wisconsin Association of School Business Officials (WASBO), Wisconsin Council of Administrators of Special Services (WCASS), Cooperative Educational Service Agencies Network (CESA), Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC), American Federation of Teachers – Wisconsin (AFT), Wisconsin Parent-Teacher Association (PTA), Wisconsin Charter Schools Association (WCSA), Wisconsin Council of Religious and Independent Schools (WCRIS), School Choice Wisconsin, and Wisconsin Center for Educational Research (WCER)/ Value Added Research Center (VARC). Additionally, members of business organizations and representatives from the state’s public and private colleges and universities will be invited to join the design team.

“The design team’s work has the potential to transform educational accountability in Wisconsin,” said Governor Walker.  “We’ll listen to parents, students, educators, and stakeholders across the state to help develop a statewide accountability system.”

“We can’t hope to improve education in our state without listening to the parents and students who depend on our schools, the educators who work in our classrooms, the administrators and board members who drive local decisions, and the community members who support strong schools,” Evers said. “The design team will create multiple opportunities for participation and feedback, and we hope that the people of Wisconsin will contribute to this effort.”