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Milwaukee teachers' union calls school accountability bill "vindictive"

MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - The head of the Milwaukee teachers' union says the latest bill to make schools more accountable seems "vindictive" toward the city.

The state Senate's education committee is scheduled to vote Thursday on the package.

It would give Wisconsin schools more exact A to F grades under the state's new evaluation system. Schools that flunk for three straight years, or get D's and F's for five straight years would have to be turned into independent charter schools.

Private schools with failing tax-funded voucher students might be cut off from accepting more such youngsters.

Milwaukee teachers' union chief Bob Peterson says the bill would remove power from the city School Board, and centralize it in Madison. He calls it unfair and undemocratic.

Dan Rossmiller of the Wisconsin Association of School Boards says the state may not have enough independent management groups to take over high schools that get transferred to them. All but nine of the 58 failing Wisconsin schools from last year are in Milwaukee.

The new package was based on a reform bill from last fall, with additional input from state education officials, school choice advocates, and others.

A spokesman says Republican Governor Scott Walker wants some kind of school accountability measure on his desk before the year's out.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)