Dr. Lowell Holtz used the final debate in the race to be Wisconsin's top education official on Friday to accuse incumbent Tony Evers of failing to close the state's achievement gap during his eight years in office, while Evers defended his record.
By SCOTT BAUER, Associated Press Madison, WI. March 31, 2017,
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Lowell Holtz used the final debate in the race to be Wisconsin's top education official on Friday to accuse incumbent Tony Evers of failing to close the state's achievement gap during his eight years in office, while Evers defended his record and said there have been improvements at narrowing the gap.
Evers and Holtz offered differing visions on everything from Common Core academic standards to concealed weapons during the debate just four days before Tuesday's election. Holtz also defended his sending of campaign-related emails to his wife on his school email account when he was superintendent of the Whitnall School District, just two days after the board notified parents it would not attempt to pursue any lost wages for the political work done on the school's time.
Holtz was the most aggressive on blaming Evers for failing to improve Wisconsin's worst-in-the-nation ranking in the achievement gap — the difference between the performance of white and black students in Wisconsin public schools.
"We have to do better," Holtz said. "We're failing way too many kids. ... Every single state in the union does a better job than we do? That's not acceptable."
He said the key to addressing the issue is to make schools safer so that learning can more easily occur.
Each candidate was allowed to ask the other one a question. Holtz asked Evers why he let Wisconsin's achievement gap get so bad during his tenure. Evers bristled at the question.
"I didn't let it happen," he said curtly. "It was caused by external things." READ the REST.