MADISON — Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s call to scrap Common Core academic standards for Wisconsin schools is meeting resistance from GOP Senate leaders, with one key lawmaker calling it “monkey business.”
Republicans currently have majorities in both the state Senate and Assembly, but elections this November will determine which party is in the majority next year. Republicans have a strong 60-39 majority in the Assembly but a more narrow 17-15 hold on the Senate, with one vacancy in a heavily GOP district.
Walker, who is also up for re-election, called Thursday for the Legislature to write new standards when it reconvenes in January.
That may be easier said than done.
Conservative Republican’s proposal to do away with the standards failed to garner enough support to pass last session, even with the GOP in control.
Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said in a statement that while there may be support for repealing the Common Core, “developing new standards that satisfy everyone’s concerns will be much more difficult.”
And Sen. Luther Olsen, the Republican chairman of the Senate Education Committee and a Common Core supporter, said the Legislature can’t repeal the standards because they were adopted voluntarily by school districts across the state.
“I believe 90 percent of the schools are going to say, ‘Madison you go do what you want to do, we’re going to continue with the Common Core,’” Olsen said. “I have to believe people in this state have a lot more faith in their local school board than they do the Legislature in Madison.”
If the Legislature mandated standards too different from Common Core, it would hurt high school students taking college placement tests tied to the standards being used by most states, Olsen said.
“This is much more serious than this monkey business around saying we can do better,” Olsen said.
Walker said Friday during a visit to Milwaukee Area Technical College in Oak Creek that whatever is adopted may not differ significantly from Common Core standards.
“It’s one of those where they’ll have to adjust some things, some of the things may very well parallel, other things will be different,” he said.
The goal is to have the standards developed by educators, parents, community members, and people involved with education in Wisconsin, Walker said.
“I believe 90 percent of the schools are going to say, ‘Madison you go do what you want to do, we’re going to continue with the Common Core.’” State Sen. Luther Olsen, Republican
"I believe 90 percent of the schools are going to say, 'Madison you go do what you want to do, we're going to continue with the Common Core."
State Sen. Luther Olsen, Republican