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Evers Targets Milwaukee for Helping Out Poor-Performing Schools

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MILWAUKEE, Wis. (WTAQ) - State School Superintendent Tony Evers says Milwaukee will be the first target of a new law that gives him the power to intervene in failing schools. And he hopes to have some directives in place by this summer.

Governor Jim Doyle signed the measure Thursday. Evers can force the state’s worst schools to adopt model teaching standards, and create programs to help struggling youngsters earlier. The lowest 5 percent of schools would also face new standards for hiring teachers and principals. Evers says it’s not the total answer for turning troubled schools around, but it’s a step in the right direction.

The Legislature approved the bill as a compromise, after it failed to give Milwaukee’s mayor control of the city’s schools. Republican gubernatorial candidate Mark Neumann said he might change the law if it’s not working. Republican hopeful Scott Walker called it another failed example of Doyle’s leadership. Democratic candidate Tom Barrett said he agreed with Evers that the law will point Milwaukee schools in the right direction. And Doyle says he can’t believe that a new governor would dump it. Evers says he might target other lower-performing districts later.

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