News Articles By Dustin Beilke

Wisconsin Education Reform Only ALEC Could Love

After months of talking about "reforming" Wisconsin's public schools, Republican state legislators are starting to move on a number of proposals. The greatly anticipated bills bear the marks of having been poured through the filter of the American Legislative Exchange Council's agenda for school reform before they were exposed to the light of day.

ALEC Exposed - A project of CMDThis week, for instance, there is a hearing on a voucher bill for special needs children that appears to be modeled on the ALEC Special Needs Scholarship Program Act. Other measures are in the works to hold teachers "accountable" for the performance of their students, but not at voucher schools of the type supported by ALEC.

Senator Grothman Tries to Mask WI Campaign Contributors

Photo via ShutterstockA bill moving through the Wisconsin Legislature would make it more difficult to track and accurately tabulate campaign donations from businesses and industries in state elections. Critics say it could also hinder investigations of illegal campaign fundraising like the one that resulted in the conviction of a Wisconsin railroad executive last year and others that could be part of the current "John Doe" investigation into Governor Scott Walker's staff.

As Governor Walker sets a pace to collect more campaign money, from more corners of the country, than any candidate in Wisconsin history, State Senator Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) is sponsoring Senate Bill 292 to no longer require that individuals donating to political campaigns disclose their employer. Current law requires that all donations of $100 or more include the donor's occupation and employer so that organized streams of special interest money to candidates can be identified and made transparent.

ALEC Education "Academy" Launches on Island Resort

Today, hundreds of state legislators from across the nation will head out to an "island" resort on the coast of Florida to a unique "education academy" sponsored by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). There will be no students or teachers. Instead, legislators, representatives from right-wing think tanks and for-profit education corporations will meet behind closed doors to channel their inner Milton Friedman and promote the radical transformation of the American education system into a private, for-profit enterprise. (ALEC has claimed no corporate reps will be there but it has refused to let the press attend to see this claim for itself.)

What is ALEC Scoring on Its Education "Report Card?"

ALEC Exposed - A project of CMDLittle is known about the agenda of the ALEC education meeting taking place at the Ritz Carlton on Amelia Island. The meeting is not open to the public and recently even the press has been kicked out of meetings and barred from attendance. So to understand the ALEC agenda with regard to education, it is important to examine ALEC's education "scorecard."

Imagine getting a report card from your teacher and finding out that you were graded not on how well you understood the course material or scored on the tests and assignments, but rather on to what extent you agreed with your teacher's strange public policy positions. That is the best way to understand the American Legislative Exchange Council's 17th Report Card on American Education released last week.

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