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Doyle signs bill linking teacher evaluations to student performance

Gov. Jim Doyle signed a bill Monday that lets Wisconsin teachers be evaluated according to how their students perform.

It's one of four education bills the governor approved, in the hopes of getting millions in federal stimulus dollars under President Obama's Race to the Top program.

The bill repeals a ban on using student test data to evaluate teachers, but they still cannot be disciplined or fired on that basis.

And that led GOP lawmakers to call it a race for money, and not a race to help kids.

But Doyle says the new law will still make teachers perform better, and it will help show what works in the classroom and what doesn't.

Doyle also agreed to let the state's K-12 education department and state universities share data on tracking student achievement.

Another bill requires schools to follow national standards in creating charter schools.

And the last bill Doyle signed lets Milwaukee apply directly to the state's education agency for school grants, instead of to the administration department.

Meanwhile, Doyle still wants lawmakers to give Milwaukee's mayor control of that city's school system.

He says it's key to getting the stimulus money, and he'll expects to call a special legislative session to get it done before the end of the year.

The governor also wants another bill that lets the state superintendent make changes in schools which are failing.