Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt’s School Accountability Bill has morphed into a LOCAL CONTROL DEATH BILL.
At the hearings back in January, Thiesfeldt promised that modifications would be done to improve this bill, but it appears it HAS ONLY GOTTEN WORSE for our children and our freedom.
I’m sure you’ve all heard politicians talk about how Wisconsin is a “Local Control State”… often time with a wink and a nod. In case you had any doubts, this bill clears it up. Local control in Wisconsin is at best lip-service. It is not respected by our legislature, DPI, or the governor.
AB1 IS THE FINAL NAIL IN THE COFFIN OF LOCAL CONTROL IN WISCONSIN
From the bill language (emphasis my own):
“In addition, the school board or operator of a charter school other than an independent charter school MUST authorize the school district administrator to act, UNILATERALLY and on matters related to the operation and administration of the school that is subject to sanctions, CONTRARY TO policies and procedures adopted by THE SCHOOL BOARD. The substitute amendment PROHIBITS the school board from retaliating against the school district administrator for any lawful actions undertaken pursuant to this authority.”
The bill further enables superintendents to SUE school boards should they attempt to fire or discipline their superintendent for carrying out…THE STATE’S WILL. Not the will of LOCAL PARENTS AND TAXPAYERS. Not the will of the SCHOOL BOARDS that represent them. The STATE OF WISCONSIN’S will.
THAT IS NOT LOCAL CONTROL! THAT IS STATE COERCION!
How exactly does such a measure honor local control? School boards are being told they MUST cede their own authority and proper representation of the people that elected them, handing their authority instead to an APPOINTED superintendent who will carry out the will of the State? Moreover, how does this not incentivize superintendents to achieve failure in order to gain powers that supersede their local boards’?
THIS BILL IS A THREAT TO YOUR CHILDREN
It guarantees that children will spend ever increasing amounts of time in high stakes testing and test preparation. It assures that less and less time will be spent on actual learning and in subjects like shop, home economics, art, music and even science and history.
THIS BILL IS A THREAT TO TEACHERS
It reduces teachers to a value added measure based on their students’ performance on Common Core aligned assessments. This objectifies and deprofessionalizes teachers. They will be forced to teach to the standards and teach to the test instead of treating each of their students as a unique, valuable individual.
THIS IS A THREAT TO YOUR FREEDOM
Let’s be clear on what this is: AB1 is the state putting chains around the wrists and duct tape on the mouths of local citizens and their ELECTED representatives. Are there problems in some school districts? Sure. Is this the way to solve them? ABSOLUTELY NOT.
THIS BILL HAS IT ALL
- Unelected, unaccountable boards.
- State takeover of schools.
- Invalid value added measures correlating several tests in a way absolutely nobody can comprehend.
- Top down control of local school districts from the State with threats against any local representative that would intercede for the people.
- A timeline to passage that allows no discussion on the matter. (Thiesfeldt says it will be voted on by the full legislature in less than a week)
A legislator that votes for this bill needs to know this is not the last they will hear of accountability. They will each be held accountable at the ballot box. A governor that signs such an overreach into law needs to know he will not get our support!
1. CALL JEREMY THIESFELDT
Call Jeremy Thiesfeldt, Chair of the Assembly Education Committee and tell him that he needs to pull his bill — that it runs contrary to our local control statutes and to the representative system under which we [supposedly] live. Ask him what exactly representative government means to him while you’re at it. Tell him we will not accept the undermining of our local representatives, that it is our job to deal with them if they fail and to ensure that they deal appropriately with the people they appoint on our behalf. PERIOD.
JEREMY THIESFELDT’S OFFICE: (608) 266-3156
TOLL FREE LEGISLATIVE SWITCHBOARD: (800) 362-9472
2. CALL YOUR ASSEMBLYMAN
Call your own assemblyman as well to ensure that they’re not tempted to support this revised bill for even one moment. You can find them by using the “Find My Legislators” here: http://
3. CALL THE ASSEMBLY EDUCATION COMMITTEE
Call each of the members of the assembly education committee:
- Representative Thiesfeldt (Chair) – (608) 266-3156
- Representative Kitchens (Vice-Chair) – (608) 266-5350
- Representative Jagler – (608) 266-9650
- Representative Knudson – (608) 266-1526
- Representative Rodriguez – (608) 282-3621
- Representative R. Brooks – (608) 267-2369
- Representative Horlacher – (608) 266-5715
- Representative Murphy – (608) 266-7500
- Representative Quinn – (608) 266-2519
- Representative Hutton – (608) 267-9836
- Representative Pope – (608) 266-3520
- Representative Sinicki – (608) 266-8588
- Representative Genrich – (608) 266-0616
- Representative Barnes – (608) 266-3756
- Representative Considine – (608) 266-7746
DO AS MUCH AS YOU CAN TO STOP THIS STATE TAKEOVER OF OUR SCHOOLS!
SAY NO TO AB 1 AND THE DEATH OF LOCAL CONTROL!!!