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Group hopes Gov. Walker will shed light on Common Core Concerns

By Pauleen Le, ple@wkbt.com
Published On: Aug 03 2013 08:08:34 PM CDT
Updated On: Aug 03 2013 10:51:28 PM CDT

WKBT, News8000.com

LA CROSSE, Wis. -

A group educators,tea party members and taxpayer groups are hoping to get the governor's attention at this weekend's National Governor’s Association meeting.

The group is rallying against the Common Core State Standards being implemented in public schools, saying it may not be the best thing for children.

Wisconsin adopted the new requirements as a result of the waiver to the No Child Left Behind Act.

One of the conditions was to raise the academic bar.

The group of about 40 people wrote an open letter addressed to the governor hoping the concerns they've laid out will prompt the governor to think twice about the common core standards.

“The community will ultimately be affected, and how many years down the road we start seeing results of this, people need to know,” said Tracie Happel, an educator in La Crosse.

Happel is also a mother and wants to make sure students get the best education possible. She said the common core standards aren't capable of providing that.

“When it comes to educating our kids in Wisconsin, we're actually going to be lowering the bar in education, and that's a major concern,” said Happel.

She’s part of the group that addressed the governor in the open letter.

“If we could even get rid of common core and focus on the teacher accountability in No Child Left Behind and hold teachers accountable for what's happening in their classrooms, what's happening within their building, what's happening within a district, I don't think we'd need the core,” said Happel. There's just so much better things that we could be doing that's better than common core.”

In the letter, the group said there isn't enough data to show common core standards really have a positive effect on a student's education. While the common core standards are said to be more rigorous, They're suggesting it’s actually less challenging than the standards that were in place before. They also said implementing the standards is a violation of the law because it is funded by the federal government.

“Certainly it’s an issue worth looking at,” said Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

At the National Governor's Association Meeting, Walker said common core has come up in conversation before and there's no easy answer to please everyone.

“At previous meetings it's come up a little bit in scenarios, not just in Wisconsin but also across the country,” said Walker. “It's a careful balance. We want to make sure that our schools have high standards. The standards we have should be ones driven by Wisconsin parents, Wisconsin families, Wisconsin employers and educators out there.”

Not all educators disagree with the standards.

Some say it's a guideline for gauging where a student needs to be at a certain grade and what it will take to get to the next grade level.

“Just because we have a common core standard in front of us doesn't mean that that's what we're limited to teaching,” said Traci Schneider, a teacher at Hamilton Elementary in La Crosse. “We can certainly teach far beyond that and whatever our class is interested in, which is what a good teacher does. I think any good practitioner knows that it is a guideline, and that's what you teach from. It is not the sole guideline of what you do and how you plan. It is part of it."

Students won't be assessed by the common core until 2014.

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