GREEN BAY - The Common Core State Education Standards have been around for five years now. But, some politicians, including Governor Scott Walker, want to do away with those standards.
“I'm all for high standards. Wisconsin has some of the highest standards on its own. I just believe the standards should be set by people within the state and not outside the state. They should ultimately be set at the local level,” said Walker in the Green Bay area on Thursday.
Walker is calling on the state legislature to create new standards that would take the common core's place.
Need a refresher course on the common core? Here are the facts.
The Common Core State Standards show what children should know at each grade level. National education groups created the English and math standards to improve student test scores. The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction started using common core in 2010. But, there is no state law saying school districts must adopt it. However, students in Wisconsin are now taking the Smarter Balanced Assessment this school year. That standardized test was designed around the Common Core.
The governor said he has issues with the new test.
“I also want them to make it perfectly clear in the statutes that school districts do not have to use common core, and that we take it a step further and we work with the legislature to make sure there aren't things like the Smarter Balanced test going forward that require the schools to use the Common Core,” said Walker.
A group of state senate Republicans proposed a bill last March to repeal common core. It failed in committee. The Republican Party still remains divided over the issue.
Some local educators think the governor is taking on Common Core as a political talking point.
“In my opinion, he's just taking on the republican view and trying to go for 2016,” said Lori Cathey, the Green Bay Education Association President.
Cathey says while the way common core has been implemented isn't perfect, she's seen positive results.
“My son is seven. He's in the second grade. He's had common core math since he was in kindergarten and the stuff he is able to truly understand about math and the concepts and about why things happen. It’s just amazing,” said Cathey.
No bills about the Common Core have been introduced so far this month. However, legislators I spoke with believe it could happen this legislative session.
Walker has also urged the legislature to pass a school accountability bill. One bill is currently in the state Assembly. Senate Republicans are also working on their own school accountability bill.