MADISON (WKOW) -- Opponents of new national education standards are hoping to put a stop to them here in Wisconsin, but public school officials say that would be a big mistake.
Since 2010, Wisconsin public schools have been working to meet Common Core Standards. Those are nationwide achievement goals the National Governor's Association established and that 45 states have now adopted. But there is now a grassroots movement to stop their implementation.
The Assembly and Senate Education Committees held a hearing on Common Core Standards Wednesday. An opponent of CCS told 27 News she had to educate legislators on the issue just a few months ago.
"In January when we came to ask 'please can you explain to us what's going on with Common Core Standards?', many were asking us what Common Core Standards were," said CCS opponent Kim Simac, talking about her first discussions with legislators.
"They're skill based standards. Its what kids will be able to demonstrate and how they will be able to apply their knowledge versus just knowing. That's a pretty big difference," said Ted Neitzke, the Superintendent of the West Bend School District, one of a handful of people invited to speak to the Joint Education Committee.
Neitzke says Common Core Standards are much tougher than what Wisconsin had previously. But a group donning T-shirts that read "Stop Common Core" is challenging that idea.
"In my mind its a prototype that was put together and sent out there and we've adopted it without even having anything to go on to prove that its going to help our children to excel," said Simac, a member of the Northwoods Patriots tea party group who unsuccessfully ran against former Sen. Jim Holperin (D) in a District 12 recall election in 2011.
Just last week, Simac and her fellow opponents got a boost to their cause. Indiana Governor Mike Pence (R) paused implementation of Common Core Standards there, with the support of his Democratic State Superintendent of Schools.
But here in Wisconsin the situation is different. Governor Scott Walker has not made CCS an issue and DPI Superintendent Tony Evers wants the standards fully implemented by the fall of 2014.
"This is an old issue for us, we're already mapping into other things," said Neitzke. "And then to stop the momentum that's been behind it in the State of Wisconsin would be pretty difficult."
Wednesday's hearing was for informational purposes only. There is no legislation that's been introduced yet to put a stop to the implementation of Common Core Standards.
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