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Press Release:NEUMANN PROPOSES 'CLEAN SLATE' OF WISCONSIN EDUCATION REFORMS

NEUMANN PROPOSES 'CLEAN SLATE' OF WISCONSIN EDUCATION REFORMS

  • Superintendent at Lake Country School joins Neumann to Support Education Proposal
  • Neumann: “I will form a Blue Ribbon Panel on Education reform to increase accountability, innovation, parental involvement and local control. Wisconsin should have the best educated children in the world—and we can do it at a lower cost.

MILWAUKEE, MADISON, AND GREEN BAY, Wis. - June 21, 2010 - With a goal of having the best educated children in the world, candidate for Governor Mark Neumann today unveiled a comprehensive plan he will begin to enact within his first 60 days in office. The plan is to increase accountability, innovation, parental involvement, and local control. It will reduce state bureaucracy and increase dollars directly into the classroom.

“A 21st Century economy requires 21st Century job skills,” Neumann said today at news conferences in Milwaukee, Madison and Green Bay. “Wisconsin’s K-12 system needs serious reforms. The future of our great state depends on us staying competitive globally.”

Mark Lichte joined Neumann. He added, “I, a Superintendent at Lake Country School District, believe that we can find more than 10% savings by eliminating state mandates that do not affect the quality of education in the classroom if we implement Mark Neumann’s plan.”

Neumann proposes the following:

  • Form a blue ribbon panel of representatives from throughout the education system and parents tasked with transforming the educational model in Wisconsin.  Neumann will personally chair the panel, which will be created within his first 60 days in office.
  • Define a means of measuring outcomes that will require use of standardized exams with national norms already established. The most appropriate tests will be selected with local officials then deciding which one to administer. Any person or school receiving state dollars shall be required to take one of the selected tests.
  • Define a “Performance Bonus System” where, based on the measured outcomes, individual teachers and individual schools compete for bonuses based on academic growth.
  • Develop a system whereby any form of alternative education system, including choice and charter are encouraged to exist provided the outcomes meet or exceed desired growth rates and the costs are at least 10% lower than public schools.
  • Define a system to grade publically funded schools based on measured outcomes with grades of A, B, C, D, or F.  Successful and failing schools will be identified based on academic growth as measured by the standardized tests.
  • In areas served by schools that are rated as D or F for two consecutive years, the reimbursement rate for alternative educational systems shall equal the amount being spent on public school students.  The goal is to enhance competition.
  • Eliminate state mandates that prevent schools from providing education in a more cost effective manner without hurting educational quality.  The target is the elimination of enough mandates to allow for a 10% across the board savings in the cost of educating children. 
  • Eliminate state regulations that impede greater local control by teachers, school administrators, and school boards.
  • Develop a model where the state dollars in education follow the child as opposed to being sent directly to an institution.  The intent is allow for the expansion of school choice, charter, and other innovative schools, involve the parents more directly in education, and encourage schools to compete for students by providing the best educational opportunities. 
  • Define suggested qualifications for school personnel including teachers and administrators, but include a plan to eliminate state-mandated teacher and administrator certification.  The panel will empower local schools boards to control hiring practices.
  • Eliminate the income and enrollment caps for Milwaukee’s school choice program.
  • Seek ways to make taxpayer-owned, unoccupied educational spaces available to the private and public charter schools with a lease rate not to exceed $1,200/student.  In the event more than one non-public school wished to lease the same facility then a bidding process shall be used.

“Through competition and innovation, failing schools will be given incentives to improve, or else be replaced by successful private choice schools, public charter schools, and other forms of innovative education,” Neumann said.  “It is essential that all publically funded educational systems be held accountable based on academic outcomes.”

Neumann has an extensive background in education. He earned an undergraduate degree in Math/Education, a Masters degree in Education, and did Post Master’s Degree work at UW—Madison. He has taught in public schools, the UW System and at a private college. 

Neumann also co-founded and co-chairs a non-profit organization managing private choice and public charter schools in Milwaukee and Phoenix, Arizona, with nearly 1,000 students in the system.

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2120 Pewaukee Road, Suite 150 ~ Waukesha, WI 53188 ~ (262) 349-9498 Paid for by Mark Neumann for Governor, Matt Neumann, Treasurer