Opposition to Common Core standards defies political lines Tea party activists, union leaders form strange bedfellows

Erin Richards

or the past three years, teachers in Wisconsin’s public schools — and some private schools — have been changing curriculum and practices to make sure what’s taught in class fulfills the expectations of a common set of national standards in reading and math.
West Bend School District Superintendent Ted Neitzke calls them the highest standard he’s seen as a teacher.
“West Bend is now benchmarking itself against some of the best school districts in the country, such as Montgomery County, Md., because of the impetus of the Common Core State Standards,” Neitzke told a committee of legislators earlier this month.
“This is putting us in a position to move forward,” he said. “Whatever happens, we can’t go backward.”
But a growing movement of national resistance to the common core threatens to derail a movement that many Wisconsin education leaders say is a big step forward for the state.
Recently lawmakers in at least nine states have introduced legislation that would pause or block implementation of the common core. And last week the Wisconsin Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee made a less aggressive move, voting to implement a more rigorous review process for any new standards introduced.