Heartland Institute Experts React to Gov. Scott Walker’s Opposition to Common Core Testing

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On Tuesday night, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker proposed removing state funding for tests tied to Common Core State Standards, the so-called “Smarter Balanced” test public school students are slated to take to measure performance.

Joy Pulllman, Research Fellow

For Walker’s proposal to be genuine requires that school districts have freedom to use non-Common Core tests, period, no matter the tests’ name.

On Tuesday night, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker proposed removing state funding for tests tied to Common Core State Standards, the so-called “Smarter Balanced” test public school students are slated to take to measure performance.

The following statements from education policy experts at The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank – may be used for attribution. For more comments, refer to the contact information below. To book a Heartland guest on your program, please contact Director of Communications Jim Lakely at jlakely(at)heartland(dot)org and 312/377-4000 or (cell) 312/731-9364.
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“Gov. Walker’s recent proposal to end Common Core’s ‘Smarter Balanced’ testing is an important first step in dismantling the Common Core apparatus. By freeing up districts from Common Core mandates, Walker is potentially saving districts millions of dollars in implementation costs.

“The next important step in dismantling Common Core is to ensure schools and teachers have the freedom to choose curriculum independent of a state’s or district’s chosen standards. Such a policy corrects the most negative aspect of Common Core, which is not the imposition of a standard, but the dictating of curriculum.”

Bruno Behrend
Senior Fellow, Education Policy
The Heartland Institute
bbehrend(at)heartland(dot)org
312/377-4000
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“Gov. Walker has taken a step in the right direction by refusing to fund the Common Core-aligned testing consortia ‘Smarter Balanced’ in his latest budget, but it’s simply not enough. The only way to truly remove Common Core is to repeal and replace the standards – ideally, doing both at the same time so education resources and tests don’t remain aligned with the Common Core standards. Ohio’s legislation could easily be used as a model.

“There is a real concern that a rebranding of the same standards could be taking place. This move makes me question how serious Walker is about removing Common Core. I’d expect a stronger, more convincing stance from a man bold enough to take on the teachers unions.”

Heather Kays
Research Fellow, The Heartland Institute
Managing Editor, School Reform News
hkays(at)heartland(dot)org
312/377-4000
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“Dropping the federally funded Common Core tests is the first serious proposal Gov. Walker has made that would actually make good on some of his rhetoric. We’ll know he’s well-informed and serious about the promises he’s made to his voters that school districts shall have curricular freedom when we see that a replacement is not just another Common Core enforcement with a new name. For Walker’s proposal to be genuine requires that school districts have freedom to use non-Common Core tests, period, no matter the tests’ name. Private voucher schools should especially be loosed from state curriculum mandates with corresponding test freedom.”

Joy Pullmann
Research Fellow, Education
The Heartland Institute
jpullmann(at)heartland(dot)org
312/377-4000
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The Heartland Institute is a 31-year-old national nonprofit organization headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our Web site or call 312/377-4000.

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