UPDATE: Common Core bill backer not giving up

UPDATED: Thursday, March 6, 2014 --- 6:30 p.m.

Madison --- It was standing room only. One side, state senators looking for a change in education. On the other side, the ones running the classrooms.

The debate was about academic standards. Meaning, what your kids learn in subjects like math, English, science, and social studies.

Right now, school districts run under what's called the "Common Core State Standards." The state adopted the standards four years ago.

Simply put, it's framework of what students are expected to learn year to year. Now, some lawmakers want to change all of that.

The Republican-sponsored bill would create a new state board tasked with writing new model academic standards.

Administrators say, it's pulling the rug from underneath them, and making education more politicized.

"This bill creates a high level of uncertainty and anxiety for our schools," said Superintendent of D.C. Everest Area Schools, Kristine Gilmore. "Will the standards potentially change every election?"

Supporters of the change say, 16 people would be appointed to the board. Most of them being educators.

They say, this new model would create a more open process when deciding what your kids learn in the classroom.

If passed the bill also requires the board to review the standards at least once every six years.

Thursday, was just a public hearing. There's still no word on when this may come down to a vote.


UPDATED Thursday, March 6, 2014 --- 10:02 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The sponsor of a bill that would give the Legislature power to approve and write academic standards for Wisconsin schools says no Republican senators have told her they have problems with the proposal.

Sen. Leah Vukmir's comments Thursday come after Senate Education Committee Chairman Sen. Luther Olsen told The Associated Press that at least five Republican senators have told him they oppose the bill.

Vukmir says she would be "shocked" if there were five senators who don't support the bill. Vukmir says she will continue to fight for the proposal and she believes momentum for the measure is growing.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says the bill is unlikely to pass in its current form. He says the bill isn't dead, but it remains a work in progress.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press


UPDATED Thursday, March 6, 2014 --- 9:31 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A bill that would give the Legislature power to write and approve Wisconsin's academic standards is all but dead in the state Senate.

The chairman of the Senate's Education Committee, Sen. Luther Olsen, told The Associated Press on Thursday that at least five Republican senators oppose the measure. That would leave the bill at least four votes shy of the 17 needed to pass.

Olsen says it's up to the bill's sponsors to tell him they have the votes for it to pass before he will have the committee take action on it.

His comments come less than two hours before education leaders from around the state are expected to testify against the bill in a public hearing.

Gov. Scott Walker supports the bill.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press


Posted: Thursday, March 6, 2014 --- 6:38 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- School district superintendents from across Wisconsin are preparing to testify against a bill that would give the Legislature power to approve and write academic standards.

The Senate's Education Committee scheduled a hearing Thursday on the measure.

The Republican-sponsored bill would create a new state board tasked with writing model academic standards. Those could replace the Common Core reading and math standards the state adopted in 2010 and that schools have been working to implement since then.

The School Administrators Alliance is organizing opposition to the bill. They and other opponents say the bill will politicize the process of writing standards.

Supporters of the change, including Gov. Scott Walker, say new standards could be more rigorous and state-specific than the Common Core standards adopted four years ago.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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