Shankland, Walker Have Different Views on Common Core
By Patrick Lynn
Governor Scott Walker on Thursday announced he would ask the State Legislature to pass a bill in January repealing Common Core. In a statement re- leased by the governor’s office, Walker will ask legislators to “replace it with standards set by people in Wisconsin.”
Wisconsin adopted the Common Core standards- federal benchmarks for English and math education- in 2010. Common Core science standards were adopted in 2013. According to the Dept. of Public Instruction, districts throughout the state have already spent more than $25 million implementing the new standards. State Senator Leah Vukmir of Wauwatosa introduced a bill earlier this year to remove the standards from the state’s school system citing a lack of control on the local level. That bill failed in March.
Stevens Point is one of many districts throughout the state set to implement a new system of standardized tests, all of which are aligned with the Common Core, and Superintendent Attila Weninger said earlier this year he does support Common Core.
Representative Katrina Shankland of Stevens Point said word of the governor’s request “startled” her.
“Our hard-working educators and school districts have invested millions of dollars and years of diligent work to implement the Common Core State Standards in an effort to prepare students for college and careers,” Shankland said.
“Perhaps the governor has forgotten the day when over 100 superintendents from across Wisconsin traveled to Madison to support Common Core when it was under attack,” she added in her statement. “To discount the expertise of public school administrators and educators across the state is irresponsible, and to call for the repeal of Common Core at a time when our schools aren’t even in session suggests an agenda meant more for Walker’s conservative base than for Wisconsin’s students. Our public schools are already under-resourced and under-funded thanks to the Republicans’ historic cuts to public education. If the governor truly wants to do more to help public schools, he should call a special session to recommit to two- thirds funding, pass a fair funding formula, and provide assis- tance to rural schools. Instead, he’s trying to score cheap political points to appease the extreme right.”
Shankland said she looked forward to the day when public education “will no longer be considered a partisan issue.”
“I ask the governor to work with the Legislature to fairly fund our public schools, not repeal the Common Core State Standards. As a strong supporter of public education, I will always fight for investments in our neighborhood schools and will oppose any attempts by the governor or the legislature to politicize public education,” she said.