Tea Party and conservative groups across the state of Wisconsin are calling on Gov. Scott Walker to lead the fight against the Common Core State Standards.
The Common Core State Standards have been adopted in more than 40 states and are being taught to the same benchmarks. While the standards are typically seen as more rigorous than what most states previously used, in Wisconsin, some critics are arguing the standards are too mild and represent an example of federal overreach.
On Tuesday, the groups sent Walker a letter asking him to encourage the legislature to pass a bill rejecting the Common Core Standards, even though the state adopted the voluntary benchmarks in 2010. The letter, which was signed by more than 60 groups, reads in part:
You have the ability to be the hero in this story. The question is, will you choose to rise to the opportunity? Or, will you instead tacitly allow the children of Wisconsin to founder on the rocks of abridged knowledge, empty skill sets, and data mining?
Walker has been a critic of the Common Core Standards, and in late September, he told reporters he would like “Wisconsin have its own unique standards that I think can be higher than what’s been established.” However, according to the Associated Press, Walker has not committed to actually rescinding the standards.
Earlier this month, the Wisconsin state Assembly and Senate organized Common Core select committees in response to pressure from critics, according to the Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel. After hearings on the standards, a committee member told the outlet that he did not think the committee recommend abandoning the benchmarks, although the group has yet to release official suggestions.
Schools in Wisconsin have already spent about $25 million on the standards’ implementation process, the AP notes.