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Doyle working on public school reforms, billions in federal grants

Gov. Jim Doyle is working on a host of public school reforms aimed at getting youngsters to perform better and to bring in billions in federal grants.

But to get the money, Wisconsin would have to repeal a law that bans the use of student test scores to evaluate teachers.

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan has called the law ridiculous, and two Republican lawmakers have proposed a bill to throw it out - Sen. Randy Hopper of Fond du Lac and Rep. Brett Davis of Oregon.

Besides using test scores to help evaluate teachers, Doyle is looking at ways to improve the tracking of student performance and to raise high school graduation requirements.

Doyle tells the Wisconsin State Journal he'll work with educators and lawmakers to improve education for years to come.

President Obama encourages such changes in a program called "Race to the Top," which includes about a $4.34 billion in federal funding nationally.

Doyle spokesman Lee Sensenbrenner says the governor will try to remove current laws which stand in the way, including the ban on using test scores to evaluate teachers.

He said the scores would be just one part of the evaluation process.

Mary Bell of the state's largest teachers' union says her group would be open to the change in order to get the money.

But the union is still against using a single test score to evaluate teachers.