Scott Walker Calls on Wisconsin Legislature to Dump Common Core

Friday, 18 Jul 2014 06:44 AM

By Cathy Burke

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Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker wants state lawmakers to repeal Common Core education standards and replace them with "standards set by people in Wisconsin."

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported Walker's plea follows a failed proposal earlier this year in the state Legislature to undo the standards.

"Today, I call on the members of the state Legislature to pass a bill in early January to repeal Common Core and replace it with standards set by people in Wisconsin," Walker said in a statement, according to the newspaper.

Republican state Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt, who wrote the bill to repeal the standards but couldn't get it passed, said Walker's backing may help refuel the effort.

"I think it's huge," he told the Journal-Sentinel.

The state's superintendent blasted Walker's statement as purely political.

"It may work well for the political end of things, but it's sending messages to our kids that our system is chaotic, and it's not," state Superintendent Tony Evers said, according to the newspaper.

Wisconsin and most other states signed on to the effort in 2009 to develop a set of common academic expectations, but the standards have come under increasing scrutiny and criticism.

Walker’s likely Democratic opponent in the November gubernatorial election, Mary Burke, who serves on the Madison, Wisconsin, school board, also criticized the move.

"The transparency of the political nature of this move could not be clearer," Burke spokesman Joe Zepecki said in an email to the Wisconsin State Journal.

"The Legislature isn’t in session. He offers zero explanation for why he wants to undermine efforts to improve our educational standards from 38th in the country and zero plan for moving forward. Why the sudden change of course after three years of (the state Department of Public Instruction) working on implementing these standards?"

Wisconsin schools have spent an estimated $25 million linking their curriculum to Common Core standards, the Journal reported.

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