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State Superintendent, educators rally to support Common Core standards Thursday


MADISON, Wis. (WSAU) -- The debate over Common Core educational standards continues.

Supporters say Common Core builds a baseline, expecting certain abilities and skills for students in every grade nationwide. Opponents criticize the loss of local control and how the standards were developed.

The opposing view has been heard from several conservative groups and at a meeting in Marshfield Wednesday night. The supporters of the Common Core standards are speaking out Thursday morning at the capitol in Madison.

Many education leaders supporting the Common Core standards will be in the State Assembly Parlor for a 9:30 a.m. rally Thursday, opposing what they call, “a politicized process that puts the Legislature in charge of what Wisconsin’s 870,000 public school children are expected to learn.” Speakers include teachers of the year, college professors, and administrators like D.C Everest Superintendent Kristine Gilmore.

One of the biggest supporters of Common Core standards is Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Tony Evers, who released a second YouTube video Wednesday in an attempt to gain support and oppose efforts to remove Common Core from schools. Evers says opponents he’s talked to haven’t pointed out a specific standard that is a problem in either math, or in English.  “I go to the English Language Arts Standards and say, hey, which ones of these are wrong here for you? First graders identifying the main topic of a text. As a grandfather of a first grader, I think that is a reasonable thing for us to expect our kids to do. It has nothing to do with all of these extraneous arguments that are being made against the Common Core.”

Evers sees the legislation as a political power grab.  “It’s a power grab that’s really going to impact our kids. It has nothing to do with me or any sort of political agenda. It’s about what’s good for our students in the State of Wisconsin.”

The State Superintendent says there are standards in 23 other areas of education besides math and English, and the Legislature may remove those standards as well.  “It isn’t just around the Common Core state standards in English, language, arts and mathematics, it’s about all of these standards, whether it’s social studies or science, or information technology, physical education. This bill puts all of these standards, these good standards that are being implemented across the State of Wisconsin at risk.”

Evers is asking everyone to take a stand in support of the Common Core standards.  “This is a really important moment. This is a Waterloo moment in education in the State of Wisconsin. We have to stand tall. We have to be for our kids. We have to be for these good standards that have been created to make sure that they’re career and college ready.”

Senate Bill 619 would remove Common Core standards is expected to generate heated debate at the capitol in room 411 at 10:00 a.m.