Wisconsin Teachers Union: Yes To School Accountability, No To Scott Walker

07/23/2011 08:53 am ET | Updated Sep 21, 2011

Wisconsin's largest teacher union announced Friday that it is declining Gov. Scott Walker's invitation for the group to take part in a task force looking to design a new model for assessing school quality.

In a statement Friday, Mary Bell, president of the Wisconsin Education Association Council, said her organization supports increasing school accountability, but does not trust that three of the task force's four leaders have "mutual commitment to public schools."

She notes that Walker, Republican state Sen. Luther Olsen and Republican state Rep. Steve Kestell supported a measure to cut funding for schools by $900 million and revised collective bargaining rights. Wisconsin teachers responded to these changes with a lawsuit last month.

Bell said in her statement that although the union will not be collaborating with the governor's task force, her group will independently solicit statewide recommendations from community members on how best to improve the quality of Wisconsin schools.

Wisconsin, among other states, is looking toward a new assessment model in lieu of No Child Left Behind, contingent on receiving a waiver from the U.S. Department of Education.

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