Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

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


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

STEVENS POINT - A baby in Portage County ended up in the hospital for seizures twice in three days last fall.  Police think the mother's live-in boyfriend may have shaken that baby.

Matthew Huettl, 25, pleaded not guilty to felony charges for first-degree reckless injury and child abuse in Portage County Court on Tuesday.

+ Read More

VILAS COUNTY - A 77-year-old man died in a crash near Boulder Junction late Tuesday afternoon.

According to the Vilas County Sheriff's Office and Wisconsin State Patrol, it happened around 3:30 p.m. at the intersection of U.S. Highway 51 and County Highway H.

Investigators think a van went through an intersection and hit a semi truck.

"There was injury," said Boulder Junction Fire Chief Matthew Reuss. "The two passengers in the van had to be extricated. One was taken to Howard Young Medical Center for further care. The driver of the semi was uninjured and the second passenger in the van was pronounced dead at the scene."

According to Wisconsin State Patrol, the driver of the van is a 68-year-old woman from Colby. Crews later took her to St. Joseph's Hospital in Marshfield for non-life threatening injuries. Her passenger, a 77-year-old male from Colby, died in the crash. They were both wearing seatbelts. 

The driver of the semi is 63 years old and from South Range. 

Traffic was rerouted through Boulder Junction for several hours and was reopened shortly before 9 p.m. Tuesday.

Several units responded to the scene.

"Because we had multiple patients, we dispatched multiple ambulance units," Reuss said. "We called in resources from Arbor Vitae for traffic control and we called Manitowish Waters for help in extrication and ambulance service as well as Medic 5 out of Howard Young."

State Patrol and the Vilas County Sheriff's Office will investigate the crash.

Police will not release the names until the families are notified. 

+ Read More

EAGLE RIVER - The Vilas County Jail hopes to add two new corrections officers in 2017. But the jail needs more applicants by Friday.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - The farther south you go, the less snow you'll see. That's bad news for people who live there, but great for getting people to come to the Northwoods.

The Rhinelander Area Silent Trails Association puts in a lot of work, in part to attract more people to its trails. 

The group works with the Oneida County Forest to improve trails.

+ Read More

NORTHWOODS - Roads stayed fairly safe north of highway eight Tuesday, but an ice storm caused a lot of slick conditions south of there.

As of Tuesday morning, the state patrol dealt with more than 200 incidents around the region.

But for the most part, drivers weren't crashing into each other.

"The number of slide ins have really outnumbered the number of crashes, which kind of tells us that's good that motorists have been listening and kind of adding a little more distance between themselves and other vehicles so that's good, so it looks like the total number of slide ins have been significantly higher than crashes," said State Patrol Sergeant, Dan Gruebele

+ Read More

Play Video

MERRILL - Republicans planned to go after the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, quickly after taking control of Congress and the White House. Less than a month into session and the House of Representatives started picking apart the healthcare law. Many Americans are wondering what will happen to Obamacare. Congressman Sean Duffy held a town hall at Les & Jim's Lincoln Lanes in Merrill this afternoon to answer the public's questions. 

According to Duffy (R-Weston), the Affordable Care Act will be repealed because it is effective for 20 million people, but not for all of America. 

+ Read More

Play Video

HARSHAW - On his home computer, Phil Hejtmanek gets used to waiting patiently as webpages load, seeing spinning wheels as videos buffer, and putting work on pause as downloads slowly trickle in.

"Streaming a movie on Netflix is a pipe dream," Hejtmanek said with a laugh. "That's impossible."

Hejtmanek lives on West Horsehead Lake in the Oneida County town of Cassian. His best option for internet service is DSL provided by Frontier, a technology which is a distant memory for many people in cities.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here