MADISON (WSAU) Wisconsin teachers and school administrators say Governor Scott Walker is wrong in trying to compare results from surveys the two groups have done. Walker says the data backs up his contention that schools are doing well under his law that ended most union bargaining.
Yesterday Walker asked the state’s largest teachers’ union to re-post data on its Web site, which showed that twice as many schools laid off teachers in 2009 as they did last year – the first year under the union law.
But the WEAC teachers’ union said it’s wrong to compare school surveys it did in past years with a more comprehensive survey last fall by the school administrators’ group and the state Department of Public Instruction. Miles Turner, head of the administrators, said his group’s survey was conducted differently and more openly than WEAC’s anonymous surveys of districts in past years – and they had different response rates. WEAC’s Mary Bell said her group stopped doing the surveys two years ago, and the results were no longer posted after the group revamped its Web site. By demanding the old data now, Bell says Walker is only trying to conduct a “public relations blitz” in advance of his recall election. And Turner said the old numbers are irrelevant.
But Walker spokesman Cullen Werwie disagrees. He said quote, “Mary Bell has said Governor Walker is destroying education in this state when her own data – which we believe is compatible with the current data – counters that view.” And Werwie said nobody wants to release WEAC’s data because quote, “these reforms are working.”