Wisconsin schools want to stick with Common Core

By Associated Press

July 30, 2014

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker speaks to Ernesto Gonzalez II at Milwaukee Area Technical College on Friday, July 18, 2014, in Oak Creek, Wis. Walker, whose call to scrap Common Core academic standards for Wisconsin schools is meeting resistance from Republican Senate leaders, said that whatever is adopted may not differ significantly from Common Core standards.

JANESVILLE Officials in some Wisconsin school districts say they oppose Gov. Scott Walker's recent call to abandon Common Core curriculum standards because doing so would cost them time and money.

Walker has asked the Wisconsin Legislature to pass a bill in January to repeal Common Core and replace it with standards set by the public.

In 2010, Wisconsin became one of 44 states to adopt Common Core, the set of curriculum standards that specify what is taught in grade-school classrooms throughout the state. It includes the statewide expectations for English and math education.

School officials in Janesville, Milton, Clinton and other districts say they have invested time and money in creating curriculum based on Common Core, and abandoning it will be costly, The Janesville Gazette (http://bit.ly/1qIHI6v ) reported.

Kim Ehrhardt, director of curriculum, instruction and assessment for the Janesville School District, said it has been working on revising its curriculum for four years, so a statewide change would be counterproductive. He said Wisconsin school districts have already spent an estimated $25 million on Common Core development.

Elkhorn School District administrator Jason Tadlock agreed that dropping Common Core would be a step backwards.

"By having a common set of general bench marks, such as Common Core, districts can leverage our efforts and resources by working with schools across the nation with an assurance that we are working toward similar levels of rigor," Tadlock said.

He said it was difficult to share resources and gauge progress before Common Core was adopted.

"I wish politicians would stay out of our way and let us do our job," Clinton Superintendent Randy Refsland said. "Politicians have enough of their own important issues they need to address."