Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

Proposed committee could politicize education standards writing process, replace Common Core Submitted: 02/19/2014
Story By Adam Fox

Proposed committee could politicize education standards writing process, replace Common Core
MADISON - Some Wisconsin legislators believe education standards should get a fresh look and make changes every six years.

Authors of a state education proposal want to form a committee to do that.

The Republican backed bill would give the governor, the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) and the heads of both parties in the legislature the power to pick the 15 member committee.

Republican Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt sits on the Assembly Committee on Education and sponsors the bill, AB 617.

He says the selected members would need to be teachers, parents, board members and other education experts. He says the governor would pick six members, DPI would select 5 members, then the majority and minority leaders of the Assembly and Senate would each select a member to round out the 15 person committee.

Thiesfeldt says the committee isn't being proposed as a Republican power grab in education.

"This isn't built just to fit just this time in space," Thiesfeldt said. "This is built looking out to the future too, you know because we're not going to have Republicans in control forever."

But the bill will give the sitting governor's party the power to appoint the majority of the members on the committee. The six selections from the governor's office, plus the two selections from the legislature would make a majority on the 15 member committee.

That's something that worries Democratic Rep. Mandy Wright. She also sits on the Assembly Committee on Education, and worries the proposal is politicizing the standards writing process.

"It's a big reason I ran for office is to make sure that we don't really politicize education, and that we leave it in the hands of the experts," Wright said. "And I am concerned this goes too far in making our standards politicized."

The committee's standards would also replace the state's current Common Core standards. Wisconsin adopted those standards in 2010 for both math and English. More than 45 states have adopted some part of the standards across the country.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Instruction, Common Core provides guidance and support, while still maintaining the local control so important to districts throughout the state. It also helped standardize curriculum.

Wright was a teacher before being elected to the Assembly in 2012. She has experience teaching the Common Core standards.

"I don't think it's perfect," Wright said. "I do think there is room for improvement overall and I see that there was a need for standardization of our curriculum and I think Common Core takes us in the right direction."

State Superintendent Tony Evers agrees. He called the proposed bill "wholly unacceptable" this week.

He said Wednesday in a YouTube post that the standards change would be a step backwards for Wisconsin.

"We're going to be a national embarrassment, for what we are doing in public education, we can't afford that, our economy can't afford that," Evers said.

But Thiesfeldt believes a move away from Common Core and the formation of the committee would be the right move for Wisconsin.

"It's a much more open process than we've had in the past and certainly much more open process that we used to implement common core standards," Thiesfeldt said.

The Assembly Committee on Education will vote on the proposal Thursday.







Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

Play Video

MANITOWISH WATERS - Heavy, gray smoke poured out of Kay Lackas's home in Manitowish Waters on Wednesday morning while firefighters rushed in, keeping her in a daze.

"I feel like that smoke, foggy," Lackas said.

Lackas was sleeping inside around 8:20 a.m. when she heard a loud bang of thunder, but she didn't think much of it until she smelled smoke.

+ Read More

Play Video

PRENTICE - To some people, a pile of scrap metal may look like garbage. But to Prentice High School teacher Quan Banh, many of the things he finds inside still have life to them. 

"I see that there are certain resources in there that could be used," said Banh. 

Banh has spent the last four years collecting old and new bikes as well as bike parts. 

+ Read More

PRICE COUNTY - Fall officially starts Friday, but you can already see signs of it in the trees.

One of the best places to view those colors is the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.

+ Read More

Play Video

ONEIDA COUNTY - A group of older adults feel like life just got started. Volunteers took about 20 young-at-heart seniors on an all-day ATV and UTV ride. 

They rode from Enterprise Camp ground down the west loop and around Pelican Lake.

+ Read More

Play Video

MERRILL - Autumn brings amber colors, acorns, and a lot of apples.

One local apple orchard is booming even though it underwent a few changes right before the picking season hit.

"I've taken over the farm, and we're transitioning now to ownership," said Olivia Telschow, who was a nurse for more than 12 years. But that all changed two years ago.

+ Read More

MADISON - Nonpartisan attorneys for the Wisconsin Legislature say portions of a newly signed law that are designed to speed up legal appeals related to the Foxconn Technology Group's factory could be unconstitutional.

The analysis was prepared by attorneys for the Wisconsin Legislative Council at the request of Democratic state Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling.

+ Read More

MADISON - A bipartisan band of young Wisconsin legislators has formed a group called the Wisconsin Future Caucus.

The caucus' co-chairs, Democratic Representative Amanda Stuck and Republican Representative Adam Neylon, announced the formation of the group during a news conference Wednesday.

They said they've got about 20 lawmakers 40 years or younger on board.

Neylon said the group will serve as a bipartisan platform to discuss issues affecting future generations.

He says the caucus plans to examine potential legislation dealing with self-driving cars and exempting young mothers from jury duty.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here