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State public schools would get letter grade under new accountability bill

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Wisconsin public schools would get letter grades to judge their performance -- and those that flunk might have to close, or become charter schools.

It's all part of a revamped school accountability bill unveiled Monday by Senate Education Committee chairman Luther Olsen.

The package also requires testing for tax-funded students at private voucher schools -- and the worst-performing voucher schools could not enroll more students in the choice program.

Olsen, a Republican from Ripon, says his panel expects to vote on the new measure Thursday. It's a souped-up version of a bill introduced last fall by Olsen and Assembly Education chairman Steve Kestell.

The measure had a public hearing last September.

The Wisconsin State Journal said legislative staffers have been fine tuning the package since then, with help from both the state's education agency and lobbyists for charter and voucher schools.

Olsen says the "bottom line" is hold anyone who gets public education money accountable for results.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos plans to take up a school accountability package this spring. Senate GOP leader Scott Fitzgerald says he won't make a commitment until he sees what comes out of Thursday's committee meeting.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)

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