GOP lawmakers grill Supt. Evers over Common Core Standards - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

GOP lawmakers grill Supt. Evers over Common Core Standards

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MADISON (WKOW) -- The newly created Legislative Committees on the Review of Common Core Standards held its first of four public hearings at the Capitol Thursday.

State DPI Superintendent Tony Evers adopted the Common Core Standards in 2010.  Over 40 other states have also adopted the standards as a way to raise student achievement in math and reading, and provide consistency from state-to-state.

But some Republicans want Wisconsin to establish its own standards, saying the federal government has too big of a hand in establishing Common Core.

"The federal government has no constitutional authority to involve itself in state level decisions on academic standards and assessment," said Sen. Leah Vukmir (R-Wauwatosa), reading from a letter written by Gov. Rick Scott (R-Florida) to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

But Supt. Evers told the Committee the Common Core Standards are as rigorous as any he has seen, and that it was the National Governor's Association, not the federal government, that established them.

"I, and I'm sure my staff involved with the smarter balance assessment, have never received directives from the federal government around how the test should look," said Evers.

The Smarter Balance Assessment tests are being developed by a consortium of states, including Wisconsin, to establish student achievement benchmarks, which are a part of the Common Core Standards.

Supt. Evers stressed several times Thursday that while Common Core Standards help to set those benchmarks, individual districts still set their own curriculum.

Three more hearings on the subject are set for later this month in Fond du Lac, Eau Claire and Wausau.

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