Assembly School Accountability Bill Author Makes Revisions To Legislation

Thiesfeldt Gets Rid Of Academic Review Board, Adds Rule On Common Core

Courtesy of Wisconsin State Legislature

The author of the Assembly’s school accountability bill announced major changes just ahead of a public hearing on the plan on Wednesday.

The original bill by state Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt, R-Thiesfeldt, called for the creation of an Academic Review Board to oversee struggling schools. The board would be composed of members appointed by the the Department of Public Instruction, the governor and the Legislature. Voucher school advocates thought that system gave too much power to DPI, while public school advocates thought it took too much power away.

Thiesfeld said he heard the complaints and decided the board was unworkable.

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“It’s just another level of bureaucracy that is not necessary,” he said. “And to be frank, there was no fair way that I could come up with to figure out how to get people onto that board.”

Thiesfeldt also announced he would amend his bill to force schools to annually publicize whether they’re using Common Core academic standards.

Thiesfeldt did not say he planned to change another controversial provision in the plan that would turn consistently struggling public schools into independent charter schools. He also indicated it was important to him that voucher schools be able to choose from multiple tests for the state report cards.

With or without the changes, the Assembly Republican school accountability bill remains far apart from a version introduced on Tuesday by Senate Republicans. That bill would create two boards to oversee public and voucher schools and require all schools to take a single test. It also includes no sanctions for schools that persistently struggle.