Scott Walker wants to repeal Common Core educational standards in his state, the latest Republican governor to oppose the controversial program.
Walker is trying to have Wisconsin join in Indiana, Oklahoma, and South Carolina in dropping out of Common Core. North Carolina has also passed a measure to establish new state standards apart from Common Core.
Wisconsin adopted Common Core in 2010, before Walker took office. But when Republicans took control of the state legislature later that year, they began efforts to roll back some of the standards. Walker already failed once in repealing Common Core, with a bill that would have halted its implementation killed that year.
Walker is now trying again, announcing his intention in a terse, one-sentence statement issued this week that read: “Today, I call on the members of the State Legislature to pass a bill in early January to repeal Common Core and replace it with standards set by people in Wisconsin.”
Walker is suggesting that the state repeal Common Core and replace it with new standards specific to Wisconsin. Walker would create a team of parents, teachers, principals, and educators to establish the new standards.
This plan has come under fire by some groups, including the Wisconsin Association of School Boards.
“I doubt very seriously that if you get a group together and develop something, that it is going to be very different from the Common Core” says Mike Blecha, President of the Wisconsin Association of School Boards.
Blecha added that what Walker is trying to accomplish can still be done without repealing Common Core.
“The Common Core is a floor, not a ceiling,” he said. “If an individual school district wants to have higher standards or different curriculum they are certainly free to do that”.
Walker’s efforts will not go unopposed. Democrat Mary Burke, a former School Board member in Madison, is running against Walker this fall and said she believes his opposition to Common Core is purely political.
“He offers zero explanation for why he wants to undermine efforts to improve our educational standards from 38th in the country and zero plan for moving forward,” Burke spokesman Joe Zepecki said.
If the plan put forward by Scott Walker goes through, Wisconsin would be opting out of Common Core by the beginning of 2015.