WEAC Opts Out of Walker Task Force

7/23/11 – Wisconsin’s largest teachers’ union said Friday it would not take part in Governor Scott Walker’s task force to come up with a new system to evaluate the quality of public schools. Mary Bell, the head of WEAC, said her group supports the idea of dumping the current accountability system as required under the federal No Child Left Behind Act. But Bell said the union would not be able to cooperate with other members of the task force because it does trust not trust three of the group’s four chairmen. They are the Republican governor and the heads of the Assembly and Senate committees – Republicans Steve Kestell of Elkhart Lake and Luther Olsen of Ripon. Instead, the union promised to start its own effort this fall to get ideas from around the state on improving school accountability. And Bell said WEAC would share information with the fourth chair of the task force, State School Superintendent Tony Evers. Evers says the state might seek a waiver from the federal education law to try out its own homegrown school evaluation system. Bell said she was not certain if the union’s lack of involvement would hurt the state’s chances of getting such a waiver.