An  Open  Letter  to  Senator  Olsen  and  Representative  Kestell   on  the  Common  Core  State  Standards  Hearing  

cc: Members of the Senate and Assembly Committees on Education Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald Speaker of the Assembly Robin Vos Governor Scott Walker Hand-delivered to all recipients, May 20th, 2013 Senator Olsen and Representative Kestell: Recently, we were encouraged to learn that as respective chairs of the Senate and Assembly Committees on Education, you had responded to concerns and called a May 22nd joint informational hearing on Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Indeed, the many worrisome realities surrounding CCSS development and implementation warrant full and immediate investigation – the elimination of local control; lowered educational standards and fraudulent representation of benchmarking; invasion of children’s privacy; taxation without representation; and a host of other matters besides. While an informational hearing on CCSS represents only a first step in such an investigation, it meant a great deal to us to see one called. Initially, we were even more impressed by your willingness and courage in opening an inquiry since a series of conversations with you had revealed you both to be pro-CCSS. We respected and trusted your openmindedness in seeking out and evaluating evidence that might contradict your currently held perspectives. Regrettably, over the past week, we have begun to question the balance that is being struck among experts and the manner in which it will affect the quality of the hearing. Out of a total of nine experts invited to speak at the joint hearing, a mere three are known to have serious concerns pertaining to CCSS. One of those three experts was added only at the last minute as a result of public pressure. Moreover, as of May 15th, we learned in writing that no further experts would be added to the hearing roster. This despite several extremely reasonable requests to include, at the very least, individuals who refused to sign off on CCSS math standards and/or came away from their experience on CCSS committees with deep misgivings about the standards, and/or college and university educators with concerns that CCSS will only contribute to a growing gap in preparedness for higher education. How is this approach representative of a truly balanced investigation into CCSS? How, for that matter, shall we interpret the formulation of the publicly noticed list of experts as anything but a stacking of the deck in order to achieve a predetermined outcome? If the greater weight of testimony suggests that CCSS is worthy, further investigation can be deemed superfluous. The naysayers can be conveniently dismissed. No need for further expert testimony. No need for a second hearing at which citizens could rightly comment and bring their own experience to bear. No need to hassle with the headache of a possible change in educational course. Problem solved. Full steam ahead with CCSS. This is not the manner in which we want to read the current situation; but we’re being left with little choice. Senator Olsen, Representative Kestell, each of you has a sworn fiduciary duty to protect the rights of Wisconsin citizens – children, parents, and taxpayers included. The lives of every Wisconsinite will be affected well into the future by all that CCSS brings with it. Should we stand by while important stones are left unturned? Should you? It is always tragic to discover after the fact that one could have done something more but failed. We hope you will act to rectify the lack of balance in expert testimony pertaining to CCSS. We hope you will work to ensure that the citizens of Wisconsin are not shortchanged by a failure to investigate all CCSS angles, whatever the challenges of doing so. Please show us our faith in you is well-placed. Sincerely, [the undersigned]

Kim Simac Northwoods Patriots Eagle River, WI Ed Willing Caledonia, WI Edward Perkins The Fox Valley Initiative Appleton, WI Jane Carpenter Suburban Republican Women’s Club Milwaukee, WI Randy & Roberta Brice Manitowoc County Tea Party Manitowoc, WI Steve Welcenbach Separately for each: Conservative Insurgency & Menomonee Falls Taxpayer Association Menomonee Falls, WI Joana Briggs Greendale Tea Party Greendale, WI Kim Mork Beloit Tea Party Beloit, WI Tea Party Perspective Racine, WI Dan Curran Concerned Citizens of Iowa County Dodgeville, WI Jayne Gohr Mayville TEA Party Mayville, WI Tina Hollenbeck The Educational Freedom Coalition Green Bay, WI Kristi Lacroix High School Teacher Kenosha, WI

Jeffrey Horn Prairie Patriots Sun Prairie, WI Charles Brey United In Freedom Beaver Dam, WI Oriannah Paul Sheboygan Liberty Coalition Sheboygan, WI Georgia Janisch Rock County Voter Education Forum Janesville, WI Dick Koltz N.E.W. Patriots Green Bay, WI Eric Shimpach Young Americans for Liberty – Sauk County Baraboo, WI James Leist Manitowoc TEA Movement Manitowoc, WI Andrea Lombard Sauk County Tea Party Baraboo, WI Robert & Jean Dohnal Wisconsin Conservative Digest Wauwatosa, WI Darin Danelski Lake Country Area Defenders of Liberty Oconomowoc, WI Kip Ertel We The People Sheboygan, WI Tony Nasvik Wisconsin Faith & Freedom Coalition Hudson, WI

Marv Munyon Rock River Patriots Fort Atkinson, WI Kirsten Lombard The Wisconsin 9/12 Project Madison, WI Joanne Terry Ozaukee Patriots Mequon, WI Greg Luce The La Crosse Tea Party La Crosse, WI Aaron McEvoy Young Americans for Liberty UW-Madison Karl Koenigs Wisconsin TEA Party Committee on State Sovereignty Peshtigo, WI James Murphy Green Bay Tea Party Green Bay, WI Seth Cowan Wolf River Area Patriots New London, WI Michael Hintze Tea Party Patriots Wisconsin Paul Lembrich Separately for each: Southern Wisconsin Alliance of Taxpayers, Beloit, WI & Citizens for Better Government, Janesville, WI Brian Garrow THE GROUP Appleton, WI Alan Scholl FreedomProject Education Appleton, WI

Concerned Parents Mojgan Hall, Waunakee, WI Wally Hitt, Marinette, WI Cheri Mastel, Brookfield, WI Sulynn Moore, Manitowoc, WI Sarah Quinones, Madison, WI Jean Bury Weymier, West Bend, WI Jeff Hollenbeck, Green Bay, WI Melissa Goines, Racine, WI Kelly Plaza, Port Washington, WI Curt & Kelly Pieschek, Green Bay, WI Sue Fietzer, Madison, WI Eric & Angela Bergstrom, Green Bay, WI Lisa L. Larson, Luck, WI Hannah Fansler, Dresser, WI Jennifer King, Racine, WI Brian & Amy Matthys, Kewaunee, WI Nadine & David Krahn, Eden, WI Cathy Munns, Belgium, WI Amber Ravatsaas, Random Lake, WI Marci Ferrell, Cedarburg, WI Joyce Bant, Hazelhurst, WI Kristen Welch, Grafton, WI Galen & Denise Wadzinski, Green Bay, WI Michael & Kristine Hagen, Green Bay, WI Daniel Zlotorzynski, Port Washington, WI Nikki Batzel, Cedar Grove, WI Deidre Zlotorzynski, Port Washington, WI Martin & Laura McGlone, Dupont, WI Trina Waterstradt, New London, WI Melody & Bruce Ashmore, Green Bay, WI Becky Lemons, Green Bay, WI Brad & Beth Jarosinski, Pulaski, WI Rev. Steven Graham & Lois Graham, Green Bay, WI Bill & Julie Schroeder, DePere, WI Corinne Baumeister, Fredonia, WI Jodi Buntin, New Franken, WI George & Ardath Klicka, Milwaukee, WI Brian & Sheila Higginbotham, Greenleaf, WI Sara & Wei-chuan Wang, Green Bay, WI Lisa Christian, Green Bay, WI Marcia Alder, West Bend, WI

Concerned Citizens Jerry & Janet Lemke, Green Bay, WI Chelsea Kowalkowski, Green Bay, WI Jay S. Van Zeeland, Suamico, WI Raymond King, Appleton, WI Katy Loucks, Madison, WI

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