This is a bit of a follow-up from what I wrote a couple of days ago,but there are some interesting updates on the issue of whether Wisconsin should continue to proceed with implementing Common Core standards (which districts and teachers have been working on for the last 3 years).
I'll show you why the GOP's argument against Common Core is so foolish and hypocritical, and then illustrate just why there'd be GOP reps saying and thinking things so stupid.
The first instance comes from Assembly Speaker and ALEC cabin boy Robin Vos, who said that having nationwide standards doesn't allow for local schools to have the freedom to decide their own curricula and levels of knowledge that they want their kids to have.
It’s important that our state continues to empower local school boards to decide what’s best for their students. State or federal bureaucrats should not force feed local school districts educational standards or curriculum. Our local school board members were elected and are accountable to the taxpayers for making the appropriate educational decisions for their communities.Hmmm, Speaker Vos, that's an interesting comment, since you and your Republican colleagues had no problem with force-feeding local school boards with Act 10 when it came to how they should negotiate salaries, benefits and work conditions with their teachers. And you certainly had no problem with a top-down, hands-tying approach when it came to how much they could levy in property taxes. But because Common Core wasn't your idea, and wasn't ALEC-written legislation, NOW is the time to start talking about "local control" with schools, isn't it?
Then again, when you realize Vos refuses to subject his beloved vouchers face the same measures that public schools do, I guess it isn't all that surprising. After all, Robin Vos loves any idea that would make Wisconsin public schools mess up and look worse to the public, which would give him an excuse to privatize even more schools for his campaign contributors. (Remember him telling Mike Ellis "I know where I can find $200 million in venture capital for schools?" I do.)
Another obnoxious Wisconsin rightie chimed in to ask that Common Core not be implemented today.
“While the Common Core State Standards may be better than what we currently have, I believe we can do better. They do not have the rigor associated with the top state standards in the US and around the world. The standards do not appropriately take into account the needs of advanced students. States are not allowed to enhance these standards due to copyright laws. They emphasize writing over reading which contradicts centuries of research. These concerns are just a few of the many discussed during this process.Sen. Vukmir also asked for the State Legislature to have more oversight of what standards are, and to make sure the school boards follow what the Legislature hands down. Seems like she might want to get on the same page as Vos there. And yes, she was a vehement backer of fellow Tosan Scott Walker and Act 10.
Reading through the considerations of the two reports, I believe there is hope for getting Wisconsin’s educational system out from under the federally pushed Common Core State Standards." - State Sen. Leah Vukmir
Now, are Sen. Vukmir's "concerns" based on a belief that the standards are too light and aren't meeting kids' needs, or might there be something else in play?
— Senator Leah Vukmir (@Leahvukmir) December 4, 2013
Ah, there's your answer! Just more ALEC bullshit to try to denigrate public schools and them eju-kated types.
And what are some of the bills this group is trying to shove through to further mess up Wisconsin's previously-strong public education system? Wisconsin Soapbox has a great summary on the number of ways these people want to micro-manage and screw up the way we've taught our kids in Wisconsin. The blog is written by a current teacher in Milwaukee Public Schools, and here's just one of many examples he gives.
5. The legislature should establish a statutory process for the continued review and adoption of model academic standards that reasserts legislative control and includes substantial public input. That process should include review and consideration of Wisconsin’s prior revision attempts, incorporating the mathematic and English language arts standards that were revised and completed in 2009. Additionally, the process should begin with a review of mathematics and English language arts standards.And not surprisingly, stories have been coming out over the last month in Wisconsin showing that fewer and fewer young people want to pursue teaching as a career.
HELLO Constitutional crisis!!!
The legislature should establish a statutory process for adoption of academic standards?! That means, in lay mans terms, that the legislature should essentially adopt the educational standards used in Wisconsin. Aside from requiring a change in the Wisconsin Constitution [because the State Superintendent of Schools currently does it. Not coincidentally, he's a Democrat], it also wholly politicizes the educational content taught in Wisconsin. Wave bye-bye to the "Next Generation Science Standards" ever being adopted, and myself as a social studies, I'm mortified at what the current crop of conservative Neo-Stalwarts in the Assembly would want me to teach.
Now you may ask, how can people in the suburban areas that Vos and Vukmir represent not see through their hypocritical bullshit, at least in the suburban areas they represent? Especially since destroying public schools in Milwaukee's suburbs mean there is little to no reason to live in these communities, and will drive property values into the ground?
Probably because far too many of Vossy's and Vukmir's constiutents are weak-minded bitter folks that get their "facts" on the radio from people like this.