Scott Walker Is Dialing Back His Common Core Opposition

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker appears to be wavering on his opposition to Common Core, scaling back his demand for a legislative repeal to simply allowing school districts to have a choice in the matter.

Common Core, the controversial K-12 math and English standards, seem to be at least a budding issue in the Republican presidential primary for 2016: presumed candidates including Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal have staked out clear positions.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker reiterates that he'd prefer the Legislature not take up a right-to-work bill, but he also refused to promise a veto on Friday, Dec. 5, 2014, in Madison, Wis. (AP Photo/Scott Bauer)
AP Photo/Scott Bauer

Walker, who was re-elected in November, is considered a likely White House contender. Walker said Tuesday his goal is to remove “any mandate or requirement that requires a school district to abide by Common Core standards,” the Associated Press reported.

This is a softer approach than Walker’s demand in July that the state legislature repeal the Common Core standards. Current Wisconsin law allows school districts to adopt their own standards, and most have maintained Common Core since the statewide tests are based on those standards.

Common Core was developed by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. Though it’s not a federal program, the U.S. Department of Education has tied “Race to the Top” grants to states with the adoption of Common Core.

This week saw a some rumblings between Paul and Bush regarding how Bush’s support for the standards will be a problem for GOP primary voters. Bush announced this he was actively exploring a run in 2016.

Jindal, a former supporter of Common Core, has sued the U.S. Department of Education, accusing the department is pushing Common Core onto the states.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie named a state panel to review the Common Core standards,  The panel is set to come back with recommendations this month.

(H/T: Education Week)