Wisconsin education plan wins federal approval despite objections

MADISON — Wisconsin’s education department says the state’s required school improvement plan has won federal approval, despite objections from Gov. Scott Walker and conservatives that it wasn’t innovative enough.

Wisconsin state Superintendent Tony Evers said Wednesday that the plan approved by the U.S. Department of Education “is an opportunity to focus on local strategies to close opportunity and achievement gaps for all kids.”

But Walker is renewing his criticism after refusing to sign-off on the report. His spokeswoman Amy Hasenberg says the plan only met the “bare minimum requirements of the law” and Evers should offer more solutions.

The conservative Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty called on the Legislature to make improvements. The group renewed its threat to sue over the process used to implement the plan.

All 50 states were required to submit accountability plans under the Every Student Succeeds Act, which replaced No Child Left Behind.