Skip to comments.Wisconsin Common Core hearing promises to ignite uncommon passion
Posted on 05/22/2013 6:00:19 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
MADISON Call it a quiet controversy.
But there are a lot of people who dont much care for Common Core State Standards.
Opposition to the K-12 academic benchmarks that some conservatives have described as Big Brother education has swept the nation, and there is a growing core of Common Core combatants in the Badger State. They just dont seem to get a lot of attention.
Several tea party groups, however, plan to be front and center at 10 a.m. Wednesday in room 411 of the Capitol for an informational hearing on Wisconsins implementation of the Common Core. The joint meeting of the Assembly and Senate Committees on Education will include testimony from CCSS advocates and critics, including Tony Evers, state superintendent of Public Instruction and Karen Schroeder of Advocates for Academic Freedom.
AT THE CORE: Opponents are preparing to make their stand against public education standards they see as usurping local control and further weakening the American education system. Even before it begins the hearing that promises a passionate debate on public education has drawn heat from conservatives.
In a letter this week to Sen. Luther Olsen, R-Ripon, and Rep. Steve Kestell, R-Elkhart Lake, chairs of their respective education committees, three dozen conservative organizations criticized the hearings guest list, asserting the ratio of experts is heavily skewed to Common Core proponents.
Out of a total of nine experts invited to speak at the joint hearing, a mere three are known to have serious concerns pertaining to CCSS, states the letter, also sent to Gov. Scott Walker, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester. One of those three experts was added only at the last minute as a result of public pressure.
Olsen spokeswoman Amy Harriman, in an email to Wisconsin Reporter, said the senator appreciates the help in planning for a diverse group of individuals with various expertise. She said upon request an additional professional critical of the Common Core was added to the list of those scheduled to testify.
Kestell said the hearing isnt about picking sides; its about bringing in people who can answer questions. He predicted the toughest questions for Evers and the Department of Public Instruction, the agency charged with implementing Common Core standards in language arts and math.
Theyre going to have a long day, Kestell said.
For critics of the Common Core, the more they learn the less they like.
Wisconsin formally adopted the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts in 2010. Those standards followed a year-long effort by the Council of Chief State School Officers and the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices to define K-12 academic standards that are aligned with college and work expectations, inclusive of rigorous content and application, and are internationally benchmarked, according to DPI.
The standards were reviewed and have been worked into curriculum development ever since, essentially by fiat, Kestell said, with Evers leading the initiative. Testing the effectiveness of those standards is expected to come.
Tea party conservatives arent the only critics of the Common Core. Progressives who see the standards and requisite testing as an extension of the George W. Bush-era No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, too, are highly critical of Common Core.
But conservatives like Schroeder, who is also a member of Walkers Educational Communications Board, see the Common Core as a $16 billion government boondoggle that will deliver the same inadequate academic results as the public education system has in recent generations.
Many have been given the false impression that Common Core State Standards and the International Baccalaureate programs will reform and improve education. However, these two newest educational policies are an extension of old policies that weakened the American educational system and destroyed its international reputation for excellence, Schroeder wrote in a column for Wisconsin Reporter.
The veteran public school teacher and educational consultant asserts the standards will be weaker than the rigor demanded of 21st century students, causing delays in academic requirements. Theres something more nefarious at work, Schroeder contends the American identity.
Experts want more time to focus on encouraging American students to exchange their Constitution and national sovereignty for a submissive role in a world community, she wrote in the column.
Kim Simac, president and founder of the Eagle River-based Northwoods Patriots, contends the Common Core is an educational prototype, untested and thrown onto the market a model that spells disaster for an already troubled public education system.
Simac, who ran unsuccessfully in the 2011 recall election against then-incumbent Sen. Jim Hoperin, D-Conover, is a principal signer of the letter to the education committee chairmen. Simac said she believes the Common Core is indoctrination of Wisconsins children, diminishing the beauty of our republic.
So many things are being taken over and controlled. Our power is being regionalized and taken away from local entities, she said.
Some conservatives see the Common Core as another extension of the Obama administration push for big government in health care, education, regulation, and more.
Miles Turner, executive director of the Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators, points out that the Common Core is a state-to-state initiative, formulated long before Obama took office.
He sees talk of student indoctrination as the rhetoric of conspiracy theorists who for years have cried out for improved education and higher standards.
Its frustrating. When we try to move toward standardized testing we then get characterized by conspiracy theorists that this is some kind of takeover of student minds, Turner said.
Turner, who is set to retire this summer after 24 years leading WASDA, defended the standards set in the Common Core as more rigorous and more challenging than previous disparate academic standards across the state. Case in point, Turner said, the tumbling test scores in the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concept Examination after the state modified performance standards to meet the National Assessment of Educational Progress in reading and math. Eventually, the Common Core assessments will replace the WKCE.
Turner called the Common Core common sense.
Simac and fellow Common Core opponents recognize theyre trying to slow down a runaway train rolling downhill.
With so much of the system implemented, what can be done to change course?
Thats a really good question, Kestell said. Im not sure I have the answer. School districts across the state have already invested so much time and resources into developing curriculum in line with Common Core standards, and testing is down the pike.
Kestell said something has to be done to address what he describes as Wisconsins ad hoc attitude toward curriculum. If not the Common Core, then what, the lawmaker asked.
What I am very sure of is its not OK to do the same things weve always done, he said.
Simac said opponents of the Common Core have just begun to fight. She said lawmakers need to take a stand, and their position could be a liability if they pick the wrong side. In other words, conservative lawmakers could face grassroots primaries.
I feel like our generation has made so many poor decisions for the next generation, Simac said. If we do not fix our education for the future what are we leaving our children?
Common Core hearing today in Madison. It looks like it will be stacked in favor of Common Core. Those interested in attending should know that signs, and such, are not allowed in the hearing rooms. HOWEVER, T shirts are allowed.
FReep Mail me if you want on, or off, this Wisconsin interet ping list.
Federal courts strongly rule that education is a state responsibility. Progressives hate that. So, since Jimma Carter and his “Dept. of Education” the camel has been sticking it’s nose deeper and deeper into the tent: Special Ed; Public Law 94-142; Americans with Disability; Drug Free Schools; No Child Left behind and now Common Core. Saddest thing is all of these are unfunded or under-funded mandates and the stupid damn governors don’t realize they’re all just settling for common mediocrity instead of striving for exceptional achievement for their states. Everybody gets better when there’s competition. Nobody thrives under a system.
My wife is a teacher in Illinois.
The CC is going to be a problem, but it is aimed at addressing some real structural problems. For instance, there are local elementary schools that don’t teach math. At all.
The CC was set up to deal with that. However, I suspect it will only lead to more cheating by the teachers on the standardized tests. On the Iowa side of the river, there is a scandal involving the district wanting to take the tests away from teachers and proctor them by an outside group. The county knows that the teachers are cheating, but doesn’t want to upset the Machine.
Stay out of the schools.
Link to article:
Here are some sample second grade spelling words: daughter, nephew, business, neighborhood, enough, prophet, and profit
Here are some sample second grade vocab:extravaganza, diligent, tedious, feasible, fragrant, correspond, accolade, archaic, semblance, dappled, and habitat.
Here is a sample second grade math question from October. It needs to be answered without using division or multiplication. There are 150 pencils. Ten pencils in each box. How many boxes of pencils are there?
I don't think common core can fairly be described as mediocrity. Look at the sample second grade work I posted above. It's ridiculous. Maybe 1/3 of all second graders can do that work, and many of them will only be able to do it if their after school life suffers. Our grandson is probably high middle in terms of intelligence. Ordinarily we would expect him to get perfect scores on second grade reading and vocab tests. But there's no way he can do that unless he loses some of his childhood. Absolutely not worth it. There'll be time to learn how to spell business and daughter in fourth grade, where those spelling words belong.
And if they want some kids to learn this stuff, I have no problem with that. Some of my own kids, my girls especially, would have had no problem with this work in second grade. But to take this work and pretend that an entire second grade classroom can learn it, is ridiculous.
just another power grab by the federal government to take over schools...this is only the first part of its implementation...global warming, school breakfast, liberaly ideology are already in the schools.
Can you tell me the source of your information? Are there more sample questions at this site? I am trying to gather some information for a parent whose children go to a private Catholic school that is throwing out their curriculum to go with the Common Core curriculum.
Wow. Why pay big bucks for Catholic school if your kids will just be dumbed down and brainwashed like the regular public school kids?
The source of my information is my grandson’s homework. My grandson attends a parochial school in the Philadelphia archdiocese.
The Catholic Schools in the Philadelphia archdiocese are Common Core.
The Common Core is a nightmare, but many of the teachers are Democrats and they don’t see this.
Sure, there will be some 1st graders who would not have a problem doing these math problems. But I am afraid that this new curriculum will set up many more for failure. It is going to be a very destructive experiment on our nation's children, and the fact that private as well as public schools are adopting the curriculum does not bode well.
Students will learn to be illiterate and unaware of literature.
Insulation guidelines as reading. C’mon.
Good grief! I’d fail that work sheet for sure. In the first place, I would consider the edge of the circle a line!
I wonder if this is what happened to my granddaughter who was enrolled in a Catholic school in VA? Her math scores declined so precipitously after 2 years in Catholic school that my daughter pulled her out and sent her back to public school even though my daughter is the music teacher in the Catholic school (very awkward.) To catch up, my granddaughter has had to spend a full year in Mathnasium, a 2 x per week math tutoring program at $200 per month.
My granddaughter tolerates Mathnasium, but doesn’t really like it. The interesting thing is that her Mathnasium classes are full of Asian students who go there “for fun”, not because they are behind in any way.
My wife has already told our grandson that this summer he'll be learning his multiplication tables because there'll be no time to learn them next school year. Third grade math homework used to be to memorize those times tables but we're worried next year will be expanding upon topics already brought up in second grade - median, mode, and range, shapes and their vertices, comparing fractions, etc. We're pretty fortunate that our grandson is pretty good at Math and so most of this work is ok for him, but we're not taking any chances with next year. If third grade is anything like second, there will be no time to memorize times tables after school and still maintain his little kid-ness.
The effort to remove multipication table memorization from the curriculum began back in the ‘70s in my experience. My kids had a 3rd/4th grade teacher who swore the parents to secrecy that she was teaching the kids multiplication tables by memory. She told us that she’d lose her job if the principal and the school board found out. This was in CA.
I don’t know if the situation was really that dire, but all of the parents wanted their kids in her class, and the kids just loved her.