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Kavanaugh now expected to meet his accuser at an open hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday. Also on the Tuesday rundown: An Albany rally calls for a million solar households; and #GetCaughtReading – a weeklong campaign for readers of all ages.

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Wisconsin Educators Applaud Passage of New National Plan

Classroom education in every public school in Wisconsin will benefit from greater local control with passage of new national legislation, according to the state's largest teacher's union, the Wisconsin Education Association Council. (U.S. Navy)
Classroom education in every public school in Wisconsin will benefit from greater local control with passage of new national legislation, according to the state's largest teacher's union, the Wisconsin Education Association Council. (U.S. Navy)
December 10, 2015

MADISON, Wis. - Wisconsin educators are pleased with the passage of an act that dramatically rolls back federal control of education. President Obama is expected today to sign the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which passed the U.S. Senate on an 85-12 vote yesterday.

The bipartisan support in the Senate mirrored the 359-to-64 vote in the House of Representatives earlier. The Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC), the state's largest teachers organization, lobbied hard for passage because it returns a great deal of power to individual states.

Mary Kusler is director of government relations with the National Education Association (NEA).

"Every state will be required to adopt a set of college and career-ready standards," says Kusler. "It is very clear in the legislation that the federal government may not dictate, coerce, or require the adoption of the Common Core state standards, so it truly is up to the states."

The Wisconsin Education Association Council says the Act "returns decision-making for our nation's education back where it belongs - in the hands of local educators, parents and communities, while keeping the focus on students most in need."

According to Kusler, the legislation, which replaces the controversial No Child Left Behind law, puts children's needs ahead of politics. She says the NEA was pushing for a reduction in mandated testing, to try to remove the high-stakes consequences of the tests.

"We wanted to expand the multiple measures used to evaluate schools, districts and states, to include more than just test scores but to also focus on those opportunity gaps that we know impact so many of those children who are most in need," says Kusler.

WEAC also notes the new legislation puts restrictions on the U.S. Secretary of Education's authority, and prohibits the secretary from dictating specific mandates.

Tim Morrissey, Public News Service - WI