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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

House GOP, Teachers Want to Revisit Common Core

By Keith M. Phaneuf and Jacqueline Rabe Thomas

With the 2014 General Assembly session one week away, House Republican lawmakers and the leader of the state’s largest teachers’ union today called for a public review of the controversial Common Core education standards. Image
Rep. Noreen Kokoruda of Madison and other House Republicans want a review of new school curriculum standards. (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

But a nonprofit education reform group backed by business leaders in the state quickly responded with a cautionary note, warning that nothing should delay the implementation of new curriculum standards, calling any push-back “unnecessary and counterproductive.”

Some districts began testing its students on these new standards this school year, and they will be in every district by next school year. The standards require that 50 percent of a district’s reading materials for students be nonfiction. While opponents of Common Core refer to this shift as the “death of fiction,” proponents say the heavy use of fiction in classrooms doesn’t help students prepare for the real world.

The new standards also will encourage teachers to really dig into teaching the fundamentals of math rather than glazing over everything quickly. Proponents say the present U.S. curriculum is a mile wide and an inch deep.

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