Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

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

Adam Fox
10 p.m. Anchor/Reporter
afox@wjfw.com


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

WOOD COUNTY - An 18-year-old Wood County man will spend more than a decade in prison for killing a woman last fall.

A jury found Miguel-Angel Oertel guilty of killing 47-year-old Theresa Coates at her home in Saratoga last August.

+ Read More

Play Video

MERRILL - Going back to school can be a fun time. A school in Merrill wants to make sure its students stay safe.

Trinity Lutheran Grade School makes sure its students know the importance of crosswalk safety. 

"Once they're outside they're usually pretty good, "said Jeff Holt.

 "Again understanding how important it is following the safety rules. 

They see what could potentially happen if they don't." Holt is a teacher and safety patrol advisor. 

The safety patrol is run by 25, sixth, seventh and eighth graders.

 The students help get kindergartners onto buses, through car lines, and to their after school programs.

McKenna Skic is one of the youth crossing guards.

+ Read More

Play Video

ARBOR VITAE - The thought of a shooter entering a school makes for a terrifying thought, but teachers know it could happen anywhere.

Teachers from Arbor Vitae-Woodruff Elementary School can go into this year with confidence they know what to do if that terrifying situation becomes reality.

"It's a little intimidating, but I think you just have to let go of your worries and your anxiousness," said first grade teacher Tiffany Handrick.

+ Read More

Play Video

MERRILL - From your neighbor to local volunteers, you can call many people in your community a hero. Now, you can give back to those who are making a difference.

Merrill Sheet Metal Works is a part of the Bryant Community Heroes program for the second year. It's giving away a free Bryant furnace to someone in the community.

Bryant Heating and Cooling will honor up to 40 people across the Midwest.

+ Read More

WAUSAU - The Marathon County Sheriff's Office has released the names of two people who were killing in a Sunday car crash.

Rudolph Schleif, 88, and Emily Schleif, 87, were killed from injuries in the crash.

+ Read More

Play Video

WAUSAU - Golfers in Wausau know their money will go to a good cause after Monday.

The Marshfield Clinic teamed up with Furniture and Appliance Mart for their 14th annual Fore a Cure golf outing.
 
The outing raises awareness and money for breast cancer detection equipment.

+ Read More

Play Video

MERCER - A few times, people in Mercer almost gave up.

For years, they had dreamed of a paved hiking and biking trail which would improve the look of their town, provide a new recreational outlet, and connect to the trail system in Vilas County.

More than once, it looked like it might not happen.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 




Click Here