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Wisconsin Common Core hearing promises to ignite uncommon passion
The Wisconsin Reporter ^ | 5-22-13 | M. D. Kittle

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 don’t 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 don’t 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 Wisconsin’s 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 hearing’s 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 isn’t about picking sides; it’s 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.

“They’re going to have a long day,” Kestell said.

For critics of the Common Core, the more they learn the less they like.

Weakening America?

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 aren’t 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 Walker’s 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. There’s 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 Wisconsin’s 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.

‘Conspiracy theorists’

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.

“It’s 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.”

Primary concern?

Simac and fellow Common Core opponents recognize they’re trying to slow down a runaway train rolling downhill.

With so much of the system implemented, what can be done to change course?

“That’s a really good question,” Kestell said. “I’m 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 Wisconsin’s “ad hoc attitude” toward curriculum. If not the Common Core, then what, the lawmaker asked.

“What I am very sure of is it’s not OK to do the same things we’ve 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?”


TOPICS: Activism/Chapters; Business/Economy; News/Current Events; US: Wisconsin
KEYWORDS: commoncore; education; indoctrination; oneworldgovernment; teaparty
Hearing today in Madison!
1 posted on 05/22/2013 6:00:19 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: afraidfortherepublic; Hunton Peck; Diana in Wisconsin; P from Sheb; Shady; DonkeyBonker; ...

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.


2 posted on 05/22/2013 6:02:56 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: afraidfortherepublic

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.


3 posted on 05/22/2013 6:09:33 AM PDT by Repulican Donkey
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To: afraidfortherepublic

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.


4 posted on 05/22/2013 6:25:54 AM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: afraidfortherepublic
Texas has dumped its version of Common Core.

Link to article:

Dan Patrick Announces End to Pro-Islamic CSCOPE -- Main Supporter, in Celebration, Yells Out 'Yeehaw!'

5 posted on 05/22/2013 6:30:28 AM PDT by Red_Devil 232 (VietVet - USMC All Ready On The Right? All Ready On The Left? All Ready On The Firing Line!)
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To: afraidfortherepublic
The test scores will plummet. Common core is another stupid academic flash in the pan.

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?

6 posted on 05/22/2013 6:32:18 AM PDT by old and tired
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To: Repulican Donkey
stupid damn governors don’t realize they’re all just settling for common mediocrity instead of striving for exceptional achievement for their states

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.

7 posted on 05/22/2013 6:40:09 AM PDT by old and tired
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To: afraidfortherepublic

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.


8 posted on 05/22/2013 6:44:54 AM PDT by Blue Turtle
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To: old and tired

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.


9 posted on 05/22/2013 7:19:57 AM PDT by Nevadan
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To: Nevadan

Wow. Why pay big bucks for Catholic school if your kids will just be dumbed down and brainwashed like the regular public school kids?


10 posted on 05/22/2013 7:22:13 AM PDT by Black Agnes
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To: Black Agnes
I agree. That is exactly what I told the mom. The school is obviously seeing Common Core as a plus, just as many private schools like to say their teachers are “state certified”. But in accepting the Common Core curriculum, they are giving up even more autonomy and removing distinctions between private and public schools, which in the end removes the reason for paying out the big bucks for private education when one can get it for free.
11 posted on 05/22/2013 7:47:24 AM PDT by Nevadan
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To: Nevadan

The source of my information is my grandson’s homework. My grandson attends a parochial school in the Philadelphia archdiocese.


12 posted on 05/22/2013 8:35:40 AM PDT by old and tired
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To: Black Agnes

The Catholic Schools in the Philadelphia archdiocese are Common Core.


13 posted on 05/22/2013 8:36:37 AM PDT by old and tired
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To: afraidfortherepublic

The Common Core is a nightmare, but many of the teachers are Democrats and they don’t see this.


14 posted on 05/22/2013 5:17:55 PM PDT by Freedom of Speech Wins
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To: old and tired; afraidfortherepublic
I agree that test scores will plummet and that the Common Core curriculum is simply the latest stupid idea. From what I have seen so far, it seems to be a mix of inappropriately high expectations for lower grade levels combined with political correctness. Lately I have been helping a first grader with his homework. I had been noticing some things which I deem inappropriate for that grade level for some time now, and just recently noticed the worksheets had “Common Core” on them. For example, introducing fractions, including addition and subtraction of fractions in the 1st grade. This wouldn't be a problem if the student already fully comprehended basic addition and subtraction and had his basic math facts down without having to resort to finger counting. Math is foundational. It builds upon itself. It seem a huge mistake to me to move on to a higher more complicated areas of math when one doesn't fully understand the basics. Something else I see is a complicated use of terms. For example, on one of the worksheets it showed a picture of a circle. The directions said, “Circle the defining attribute of the shape”. First of all, “defining attribute”? How many kids understand what that means? Very few, I am sure! This student certainly did not, even though it had probably been talked about in class. BTW, the correct answer was not that the shape was round. The correct answer was that the shape did not have any lines. Now what are the chances that most adults would give that answer, yet this is the answer expected of 1st graders. Here is another example of what I saw on this homework. The directions said, “Find the missing addend”. And no, although the meaning of this word was most likely explained in class, the student didn't have a clue what was meant. Or complicated word problems that contained over 40 words and required the student to not only process the words correctly but also complete several mathematical steps to correctly arrive at the answer.

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.

15 posted on 05/22/2013 6:27:35 PM PDT by Nevadan
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To: Nevadan

Students will learn to be illiterate and unaware of literature.

Insulation guidelines as reading. C’mon.


16 posted on 05/22/2013 6:31:55 PM PDT by combat_boots (The Lion of Judah cometh. Hallelujah. Gloria Patri, Filio et Spiritui Sancto!)
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To: Nevadan

Good grief! I’d fail that work sheet for sure. In the first place, I would consider the edge of the circle a line!


17 posted on 05/22/2013 9:41:48 PM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: Nevadan; old and tired

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.


18 posted on 05/22/2013 9:49:52 PM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: afraidfortherepublic
Could be. The new core standards are bent on teaching kids the reasons behind everything from their earliest grades instead of just making them learn their math facts and how to figure.

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.

19 posted on 05/23/2013 5:52:20 AM PDT by old and tired
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To: old and tired

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.


20 posted on 05/23/2013 6:12:54 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: afraidfortherepublic
Some of the old school stuff that works they don't let teachers spend as much time on. For instance they will teach alternate ways to multiply such as lattice multiplication. The rules for some of the alternate ways of doing things can be confusing and can result in students not consistently getting the right answers. This also goes for division where they can end up teaching alternate methods. The principals tend to want to see bells and whistles. For example some principals frown on a teacher writing on the board, too old school.

How exactly this fits into common core I am unsure but there is a general theme here.

Like someone else said in their above comment they are taking a lot of autonomy, individualization, and personal style away from the teacher. They are limiting a teacher's academic freedom to teach. They are trying to make it so that every room looks the same if a principal walks around from room to room and so that every teacher is teaching the same thing the same way.

As a result in meetings a teacher can accuse a teacher of not being on the same page or subject matter as everyone else and can stop them from teaching what they were going to teach. This can prevent teachers from using innovative teaching methods.

Basically it is communism for the teachers.

The general theme here is that the Common Core steers teachers more towards this teacher communism and gives the teachers less freedom to teach to their best ability, than the state standards did.

21 posted on 05/24/2013 1:57:37 AM PDT by Freedom of Speech Wins
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To: old and tired
I suspect a number of second grade teachers would have trouble with those questions.
22 posted on 05/28/2013 9:11:51 AM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: afraidfortherepublic

It should be called Common Karl, as in Karl Marx.


23 posted on 06/07/2013 11:34:11 AM PDT by pabianice
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