Common Core: Should Wisconsin scrap or modify these academic standards for students? If so, should the state cover the costs of doing so for schools?
Burke: As governor, I will prioritize preparing our young people for good-paying jobs. Unfortunately, education has taken a hit in Wisconsin under Scott Walker with the biggest per pupil spending decrease in the country between 2011 and 2012. As a school board member, I understand the challenges, but I also see the opportunities.
Common Core is an opportunity, if implemented correctly, to make sure our young people are ready for the workplace or college. Students will have the critical thinking skills needed to compete with students in any state or any country. We absolutely need higher standards in Wisconsin –- we are currently 38th in the country in terms of proficiency standards –- and implementing Common Core correctly will do just that. Schools should have flexibility in implementation because every school is different. Let’s put the politics aside and put our young people’s futures first so Wisconsin becomes a thriving, top ten economy.
Walker: As the father of two sons who graduated from public schools in Wisconsin and having two nieces in public schools today, I want our state to have some of the best schools in the country. I am proud that Wisconsin students are tied for the 2nd best ACT composite scores in the country for states where more than half the students take the exam. But I want high standards set by people in Wisconsin — and not from Washington, D.C.
Listening to parents, teachers, school boards and taxpayers across the state, I responded by calling for a repeal of the Common Core standards that were set by people outside of Wisconsin. Instead, we want to put together a group of stakeholders from across our state to provide an alternative to these national standards. We believe that education policy should be set by people in our state and overwhelmingly at the local level.