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July 6, 2015 - Wisconsin's Right, Left, Middle Unite to Tell Governor Walker: 'No More Games on Common Core'

For the last two years or more, we've watched as state legislators, state departments of education, state school boards, and governors have entrenched Common Core, high-stakes assessments, troubling "accountability" measures, and other so-called education reforms. Meanwhile, they've ignored or deceived grassroots activists, parents, teachers, and taxpayers of all political stripes. Examples of such behavior abound, quite literally, across the country.

So, when we see powerful examples of citizens pushing back, we can't help but get excited. Today, something extraordinary happened in Wisconsin...

Readers of our blog may remember our June 22nd post on Scott Walker's Common Core doublespeak. In that post, we drew attention to work that data scientist, education activist, and Common Ground on Common Core essayist Jeffrey D. Horn has recently done in Wisconsin to expose deception related to Common Core-aligned assessments. In brief, Horn has been investigating Governor Walker's very public claims that he is effectively repealing Common Core by defunding, via his proposed 2015-2017 biennial state budget, Wisconsin's participation in the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. Unfortunately for Governor Walker, Horn has demonstrated conclusively that the State of Wisconsin has arleady issued a request for bids to write replacement assessments--and that the bidders are being asked to write assessments based on the Common Core. Common Core-aligned assessments, whether they're written by SBAC, PARCC, AIR, ACT, or whoever else, guarantee entrenchment of Common Core. This reality is particularly stark if you pair Common Core-aligned assessments with additional "accountability" measures, which Wisconsin is also in the process of doing under Governor Walker's leadership.

Apparently, Horn's discoveries struck a chord with Wisconsin activists and experts across Wisconsin. Very early this morning, Horn released an open letter, addressed to the governor and entitled "No More Games on Common Core."

We urge you to read it for yourself.

Signed by 58 key groups and individuals, together representing a broad range of political and ideological positions, the letter brings Left, Right, and  in between together--exactly the sort of thing we love to see.

A cover letter sent out with the open letter noted the inclusion of signatories fron:

  • United Opt Out, a national group active in Wisconsin, encouraging parents to opt their children out of high-stakes assessments
  • The Wisconsin BATs (Badass Teachers Association), a grassroots group representing the voice of Wisconsin teachers
  • FreedomProject Education - An online school
  • Parents Groups: 
  • 10 Chapters of Young Americans for Liberty, representing college students from around Wisconsin
  • More than 25 concerned-citizens organizations, including tea party and liberty groups
  • Current and former chairs of 3 Republican county parties
  • Current chairs of 2 Libertarian county parties

Aside from Jeff Horn himself, who circulated the letter, a few additional signatures that will be noteworthy to fans of Common Ground on Common Core, include essayists Tim Slekar (signing for United Opt Out and BustED Pencils), Brian Medved (signing for Protect Your Child's Future), and Kirsten Lombard. Kirsten, our founder and editor-in-chief here at Resounding Books, signed both as an organizer of the Madison-area grassroots group The Wisconsin 9/12 Project and as editor of Common Ground on Common Core

The letter is more than a little striking in its public nature, unified message, and plain-spoken tone.

We've long said that what the bad guys fear most is all of us talking to each other and starting to work together. Certainly this is not the first time people from across the political spectrum have pulled together to stand against false education reform. But it is an important public display of such partnership. As such, it helps to forge a growing path forward for further cooperation. 

The educrats and false reformers should be worried...very, very worried.

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