“The hearings, of course, are just the beginning of a representative process…”
MacIver News Service | November 19, 2013[Madison, Wisc…] Several Tea Party members, students, and parents signed an open letter on November 19th, which thanks them for holding public hearings on the Common Core State Standards and says the letter signees will “remain vigilant with you until the right things have been done to protect against any curtailment of our children’s ability to learn.”
The letter was delivered to select members of the legislature on Tuesday. The full text of the letter is below and is available here as a PDF.
Esteemed Members of the Assembly and Senate Committees to Review Common Core Standards:
With the four public hearings on Common Core State Standards (CCSS) now completed, we write to offer you our sincere thanks. For your commitment to investigating these controversial standards from a wide variety of standpoints, and for ensuring that the voices of Wisconsinites could finally be heard on this crucial issue, you have our deep appreciation. We also want to thank you for spreading the hearings out across the state so that people from a wide range of communities could participate. Finally, thank you for extending the hearings into the evening hours so that working people who would not normally be able to come and offer their thoughts at a hearing could do so.
The hearings, of course, are just the beginning of a representative process by which we will together determine the wisest course for Wisconsin’s education system, the most career-worthy approach for its teachers, the most fiscally responsible road for its taxpayers, and, most importantly, the surest path to opportunity for our children. There is obviously much to consider. For this reason, we have been in the final stages of crystallizing and summarizing for ourselves and for you what we consider to be some of the key takeaways from the hearings in Madison, Fond du Lac, Eau Claire, and Wausau. We will be releasing our summary in a few short days in the form of a more substantive open letter so that it can be top-of-mind for all of us as discussion and decision-making about next steps and solid solutions get fully underway.
We do want you to know that the testimony we heard not only from experts but also from aware and engaged parents and grandparents, as well as a few brave teachers, have confirmed our view that CCSS presents a danger to the education and future of our children. We have also been watching the experience of other states. Those who advocate for CCSS here in Wisconsin–those who say it is better than anything they’ve yet seen–have not yet experienced this so-called reform in full implementation. CCSS is all about the tests. Once the testing slides into place, everything changes, and not for the better.
We intend to remain vigilant with you until the right things have been done to protect against any curtailment of our children’s ability to learn. Regardless of age or grade level, we are not willing to let even one child be further sidelined, undermined, or outright damaged as a result of what are increasingly revealed to be questionable and even illegitimate standards masquerading as educational reform.
Again, we thank you most kindly for your dedicated service in working to ensure that the children of Wisconsin are given the greatest possible educational advantages, that their minds are allowed to soar high and free, and that their destinies will be entirely of their own choosing.
With gratitude and respect,[the undersigned]