Saturday, February 14, 2015

Walker Does NOT Support Common Core

Scott Walker

I received the following Eblast from another PAC supporting a different presidential candidate.

Some of the information is misleading at best, and false to its core at worse:
                        
Dear Fellow Conservative:

You've probably already heard of Common Core -- the latest federal "education" program being rammed into local schools from coast to coast.                         


Common Core is gaining more traction as a bad program, one which states have already rejected outright or opted out of altogether. Even New York State is pushing back against the further federalization of education.


Everywhere you look, Americans are up in arms over its anti-American propaganda, revisionist history that ignores the faith of our Founders and data-tracking of students from kindergarten on . . .                       

    . . .                        

The brain-child of Big Government politicians in BOTH parties -- now controlled by the Obama administration -- Common Core is taking our nation another step down a very dangerous path.

Yet, even several GOP Presidential hopefuls -- including Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee, Scott Walker and Chris Christie -- are all prominent backers!  


Is this true? Is Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker a Common Core champion?

According to Politifact, the governor has changed his position on the curriculum, but not on an ideological front:

Walker gave a nod to Common Core in his first state budget, which became law in June 2011. It directed Evers’ Department of Public Instruction to come up with a new statewide test for school children, and that test would have to "measure mastery" of the Common Core standards.         

The program was already on place when he became Governor, instituted by the previous State Superintendent of Education.

In April 2013, Alan J. Borsuk, an education fellow at Marquette University, observed in a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel commentary that nearly three years after its adoption in Wisconsin, Common Core was little known outside of education circles. Walker "has been low key in his support, but nonetheless has been on board," Borsuk wrote.
"Implementation is one of the things that Walker and Evers have cooperated on. There is criticism and opposition, but it has been pretty low volume."

So, Walker showed tacit support for Common Core during most of his first term. 

If there was  a clash on the issue, it had everything to do with its implementation. Only in the last two years have there been uproars about the curriculum, including concerns about illicit content as well as the lower literary expectations in the high school language arts courses.

The Washington Post could not have reported it more clearly: Governor Walker wants Common Core Repealed:
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Wisconsin adopted Common Core standards in 2010, under Walker’s predecessor, Jim Doyle (D). Republicans in the legislature have tried to roll back those standards since taking control that year. A measure to halt implementation of the standards, drafted with the help of Walker’s administration, died after the state superintendent of education campaigned against it.

Governor Walker and his Republican allies have only just recently been in charge in Madison. Prior to that, government leaders do what they can with unpopular government programs. No one should forget that shortly after his election, the recall targeted him and state senators. After that recall, Republicans lost control of the Wisconsin State Senate, although they later gained it back.


On July 17th, 2014, The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported:

Madison — Republican Gov. Scott Walker said Thursday he wants Wisconsin to repeal the Common Core education standards it has adopted along with most other states, making his strongest statement on the issue yet.

Strongest statement yet? He has been talking about getting rid of Common Core before, even though Politifact claims that Walker has been shifting his positions on this issue:

The Common Core State Standards were in place in Wisconsin before Walker became governor in January 2011. State schools superintendent Tony Evers had adopted them for the state, without controversy, seven months earlier. (Evers has remained a strong Common Core supporter.)

He did not implement the program in the first place.

Walker gave a nod to Common Core in his first state budget, which became law in June 2011. It directed Evers’ Department of Public Instruction to come up with a new statewide test for school children, and that test would have to "measure mastery" of the Common Core standards.

Walker was not focused on Common Core at the time, and neither were Republican Governors who have learned about the deficits in the program. What was Walker focusing on in 2011, by the way? Bringing the public sector unions in line with the needs of the state and the taxpayers rather than the greed of the Democratic Party and liberal interest groups.

After reports were issued on Common Core, there was no indicating that Walker was an enthusiastic supporter:

In April 2013, Alan J. Borsuk, an education fellow at Marquette University, observed in a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel commentary that nearly three years after its adoption in Wisconsin, Common Core was little known outside of education circles. Walker "has been low key in his support, but nonetheless has been on board," Borsuk wrote. "Implementation is one of the things that Walker and Evers have cooperated on. There is criticism and opposition, but it has been pretty low volume."

If there is any indication that Walker changed his views on Common Core, it all has to do with getting more information and following through on those revelations.

Walker said to school districts: You choose
Two years ago, Walker pushed through local control initiatives to free up schools from implementing the Common Core curriculum if they chose not to:

Walker’s second state budget became law in June 2013. It prohibited the Department of Public Instruction from "directing school districts" to do further implementation of Common Core. But Common Core standards adopted by the state superintendent to that point remained in effect.

The argument that Scott Walker Supports Common Core is false, and in fact demonstrates the measured, reform-minded nature of the governor of Wisconsin, who does not simply take pot-shots at unpopular, liberal ventures, but provides leadership and skill in removing the obstacles to provide something better.







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