The Common Core Debate - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

The Common Core Debate

LA CROSSE, Wisconsin(WXOW)-- The debate over the Common Core state standards is a focus of the state legislature.

The Common Core state standards apply to students K-12 in math and reading. Wisconsin adopted the Common Core in 2010. but now some questioning whether or not the standards set the bar high enough for students

"It's not a rigorous curriculum," said Dr. Duke Pesta, a UW-Oshkosh professor who opposes the Common Core. "It's not one we've had time to explore. There's already whole host of concerns. Age inappropriate lessons."

Dr. Pesta says it's not just about what the standards are but how they were implemented.

The law doesn't require legislative approval and the common core was adopted at the direction of the state superintendent.

"No school boards voted on it, no teachers voted on it, no Wisconsin moms and dads voted on it," Dr. Pesta said.

Last month Governor Scott Walker called for legislation to create a committee to review the standards and make recommendations to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Dr. Tony Evers.

Dr. Evers says the standards are rigorous and student performance is improving.

"There's a lot of misinformation," Dr. Evers said. "We believe the facts do matter and some of the facts are that some of the schools that are already implementing, students are achieving at a higher level. I think they're exactly waht's right for the kids in Wisconsin. It's going to make them college and career ready."

And there is support for the Common Core. Jim Morgan, the president of the education division of Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce issued a statement saying: The standards "have given local communities a common purpose, the states a common goal and our country a
tool to ensure our long-term success."

The La Crosse Associate Superintendent of Instruction, Dr. Troy Harcey, says it's always good to discuss and vet the requirements for students.

"We think it's a very fruitful thing for folks to be talking about the bench marks by which students are going to be judged," said Dr. Harcey.

But he adds, any set of standards, Common Core or otherwise, doesn't determine the entire course of education.

"A standard is not our curriculum," Dr. Harcey said. "We still have local control certainly about our curriculum. Everyday teachers are creating lesson plans that are tailored to individual needs of students in the classroom."

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