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Opponents of Common Core lose support in Wisconsin

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 17, 2013 14:51 PM

Opponents of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in Wisconsin continue to lose support despite constantly publicly expressing their demands. State Assembly committees have voted on and are ignoring their requests to eliminate CCSS. As that battle dies down, more parents continue to be educated at meetings run by the Department of Public Instruction. The sole purpose of these town-hall gatherings is to teach the public facts about the Common Core without any political double-talk or noncommittal jargon. As the public becomes more aware of what the CCSS are, administrators hope to see less resistance and more cooperation within school districts state-wide.

Detractors slowly backing down
Tea Party Republicans, who make up the majority of Wisconsin's CCSS opponents, have asked members of the state Legislature to repeal the implementation of the Common Core in state schools. They applauded the legislators' decision to hold a vote that would determine the fate of Common Core in Wisconsin, believing that a ban on implementing CCSS in Wisconsin was imminent. Objectors faced disappointment as the state's government chose to keep the CCSS.

Lawmakers voted to postpone the removal of CCSS from state schools until further notice because they believed it would not be in the best interest of the state's education system. Millions of dollars have already been spent to prepare students and teachers for the implementation of the Standards. Replacing them would have cost taxpayers even more time and money.

Clarification for the public
The Common Core State Standards, which were adopted by the state in 2010, are academic benchmarks designed to prepare students, from kindergarten to high school, for the rigors of college and the real world. With these guidelines come raised expectations. Students and teachers are accountable for more advanced and complex material than ever before. The new material and policies that come with the Common Core are the primary sources of confusion among the objectors.

At school district meetings across the state, representatives of the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) have been addressing that confusion since Tea Party members began protesting against the Standards. One concern the public has is the possible infringement of a state's right to direct curricula in schools, and the fear that states have been forced to implement the Standards. The DPI has worked tirelessly to assure the public that the Standards are only guidelines to be used in the classroom. It has also publicly announced that the state voluntarily accepted the CCSS.