Doyle blames mayoral control foes for state’s failure to get Race to Top funds

    Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle leveled a blistering attack today at foes of Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) mayoral control, blaming those who are desperately “clinging to the status quo” for the state’s failure to make the first cut for federal “Race to the Top” funds.
    The Dem governor also took aim at members of his own party, who control both houses of the Legislature, for failing to pass a mayoral control bill despite warnings he issued last fall that it was a needed step to bolster the state’s chance for the money.
    Doyle said it’s likely only four or six of the more than a dozen states selected as finalists will get money from that first round of awards. That means at least 10 states already have a head start on Wisconsin for the second round, and the failure of Milwaukee to embrace reform will likely hurt the rest of the state, Doyle told a  news conference earlier today at the state office building in Milwaukee.
    “Our application will stand or fall largely on what happens in Milwaukee,” Doyle declared.
    But GOP Rep. Brett Davis countered federal education officials have said repeatedly that mayoral control wasn’t part of the application and instead placed blame on the bills Dems did pass, saying they were watered down to the point it hurt the application. He singled out legislation that removed the ban against using test scores in teacher evaluations but included a provision that banned scores from being used to discipline or fire a teacher.
    “Passing bills that flew in the face of the Race to the Top intentions is what cost the children of Wisconsin additional opportunities,” Davis said.

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