Friday, July 18, 2014

Common Core not a Law that can be Repealed, and some Republicans oppose Walker's election year antic.

In the following WKOW Greg Neumann report, our gallivanting governor and out-of-state billionaire favorite Gov. Scott Walker had the audacity to say this:
"I don't like the idea somebody from out of the state setting out standards."
And Walker's out-of-state campaign contributors meddling in out local county and school board elections? Who's in control? Common Core standards leaves local control in place, and he damn well knows it. And repeal would mean work, and Republicans have no intention of earning a paycheck now, says Sen. Scott Fitzgerald:
Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitgerald (R-Juneau), expressed caution Friday. "While there may be some support next session for repealing the current standards, developing the new standards that satisfy everyone's concerns will be much more difficult, especially with a superintendent of public instruction that adamantly opposes making any changes."

So what's all this talk about "standards set by people in Wisconsin.” What does it mean? What idea is frantically waiting in the wings that is so much better? At least one Republicans, not siding with the right wing authoritarians, has decided to tell the truth about their intentions. WSJ:
The Republican leader of the Assembly’s education committee Rep. Steve Kestell: “It’s election time and politicians’ No. 1 worry at election time is knocking down anything that might cost them a vote here and there.”

This Common Core issue is controversial, because the controversy has been created. It’s really a manufactured controversy if I’ve ever seen one, but it’s there nonetheless and politicians go crazy with fear if there is something they don’t understand and can’t respond to easily, so the easy way to respond at this point is to say we’re just going to get rid of it. No one has made a valid argument for (abandoning Common Core) based on rationale thought. That just hasn’t been done. There’s been a lot of rhetoric, there’s been a lot of hyperbole. Maybe the best thing to do is to get it out of the way and move on because people have become obsessed with it. And what it’ll amount to is renaming it and calling it something else.”

Kestell said he expects a bill to repeal Common Core will be successful, but only if it did not give authority to the Legislature to approve or turn down standards, like the previous bill did. He said it will be tough to find qualified experts to participate in drafting new standards based on how the issue has been “mishandled.”“Credible people are going to be very wary about getting involved in a phony process.”
Before you get to depressed, Superintendent Tony Evers had this calming reassurance:
State Superintendent Tony Evers said he believed most districts would carry on with Common Core, despite the governor's comments. "The superintendents in this state get it and the teachers in this state get it," Evers said. "They control this issue. The governor doesn't. The Legislature doesn't. They do. They just need to continue on."
But Kestell is not the lone Republican telling the truth. Sen. Luther Olsen said Common Core isn't anything that can be "repealed:"
Sen. Luther Olsen (R-Ripon), chairman of the Senate Education Committee and a vocal supporter of the standards, said there's actually nothing to "repeal" with Common Core. That's because the standards are not codified in state law ... "I think you're going to see districts stay the course on the path they're on, regardless of what's happening in Madison," Olsen said.

School districts can still use whatever curriculum they want. They could even adopt their own standards, but they will be tested on Common Core-aligned goals via the new state test. Wisconsin is expected to spend $23 million in state and federal money this fiscal year on testing associated with the Common Core, according to a memo last year from the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau. The bureau could not determine the costs of dropping the Common Core and adopting a different set of tests, the memo said.

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