State Senate Committee Takes Testimony on Common Core Standards - WBAY

State Senate Committee Takes Testimony on Common Core Standards

Madison -

Wisconsin's Senate Education Committee took hours of testimony Thursday on the Common Core standards.

The piece of legislation under debate would create a new state committee to review the Common Core State Standards, make recommendations, and possibly replace them with Wisconsin's own version.

Click here for the legislation.

In 2010 Wisconsin, along with 44 other states, adopted the national standards and goals in both math and science. Testing based on the new standards are expected to begin in the 2014-2015 school year, according to the Department of Public Instruction. Now a growing number of people are questioning whether this national benchmark is the best approach.

"For all the administrators that came in before us parents got to speak and said why would we turn back now?" a parent asked the committee. "We turn back now because this is the only chance we have to turn back."

Since 2010, Wisconsin public school districts have been preparing and training for the new standards.

Green Bay Area Public Schools Superintendent Michelle Langenfeld told the committee $6 million has already been spent in Green Bay on textbooks, materials and technology.

"Now looking at this bill," she said. "We have great concerns about the possibility a governor and the state legislature will decide to replace it with something that's yet to be determined."

Supporters of the legislation argue the standards haven't been property vetted publicly and advocate for more state control of education standards.

"I do know if we maintain the path we are on," Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeld (R-Fond du Lac) said. "We are inviting more involvement of the federal government into our schools."

There's debate even among Republicans, who control the legislature, which is the best approach. Senate Education Committee Chairman Sen. Luther Olsen told The Associated Press Thursday at least five Republican senators have told him they oppose the bill.

But Sen. Leah Vukmir, the bill's sponsor, said no Republican senators have shared concerns with her.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said the bill is unlikely to pass in its current form, calling it a work in progress.

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