Tea party and conservative leaders from across Wisconsin have sent Gov. Scott Walker (R) an open letter urging him to reject the Common Core State Standards.
In the letter, dated November 26th, the 61 leaders ask Walker to lead a repeal of the Common Core standards in Wisconsin and abide by the same words he himself wrote in a recent Wall Street Journal editorial:
Too many people in politics today spend their time trying not to lose instead of trying to do the right thing. They would better serve the country by worrying more about the next generation than the next election. The irony is that politicians who spend more time worrying about the next generation than about the next election often tend to win the next election – because voters are starved for leadership.
In September, Walker joined other Republican governors who were beginning to reconsider their states’ participation in the Common Core testing consortia. Wisconsin, in fact, was one of the first states to adopt Common Core in 2010 under State Superintendent Tony Evers.
However, when critics began to articulate concerns about the merits of the standards, the vast amount of student data collection involved in their implementation, and the realization that the federal government was more invested in Common Core than was originally believed, Walker decided that Wisconsin could do better.
“I’d like to have Wisconsin have its own unique standards that I think can be higher than what’s been established and what’s been talked about at the national level,” the governor said.
According to Fox News, though, Walker has not yet committed to specific improvements in his state’s education standards, nor has he announced his intention to rescind Common Core in Wisconsin.
The letter calls upon Walker to “rise to the opportunity” to lead on the issue by urging the state legislature to pass a bill that repeals the Common Core.
Schools across Wisconsin have already invested an estimated $25 million in the implementation of the standards, a fact that is leading some Republicans to shy away from calling for a direct repeal. These Republicans suggest that Common Core remain in place in their state and be improved and reviewed in the years to come.
Conservative and tea party leaders, however, are not concerned about what is politically expedient.
“CCSS is not a partisan issue,” the conservative leaders write. “At a brass-tacks level, good parents aren’t about politics; they’re about protecting and advocating for their kids. Good parents will support a leader who stands up, unintimidated, on behalf of their kids.”