Wisconsin Manufacturers And Commerce Endorses Common Core

WMC Foundation President Says Standards Will Help Businesses Assess Potential Employees

Wisconsin adopted the Common Core State Standards for math and English in 2010. Photo: Lester Public Library (CC-BY-SA)

Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC), the state’s largest business group, is defending the use of Common Core State Standards in Wisconsin schools as some Republican lawmakers seek to undo them.

In a column released by WMC today, Foundation President Jim Morgan wrote that the Common Core standards will make sure schools are consistent, accountable and competitive. Morgan said they’ll help businesses measure a prospective employee’s skills.

“We’ve had standards and assessments in place in Wisconsin,” said Morgan. “We could compare between districts, but we couldn’t compare to other states and to other nations. And so in terms of really understanding where we were at, that was a piece of information that we didn’t have.”

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WMC’s positions are normally firmly in line with Republicans, but on this issue the business group is clashing with some GOP state lawmakers who view Common Core standards as a heavy-handed overreach by the federal government. Morgan disputes that.

“You know, quite frankly, it doesn’t tell you how to teach and when to teach,” said Morgan. “It gives us a little bit better understanding of what it is we expect people to know.”

WMC’s stand is in line with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which also favors Common Core. Morgan says WMC wanted people to know where it stood as lawmakers consider potential changes to Common Core in the closing months of this legislative session.

Gov. Scott Walker has endorsed the creation of a commission to study Common Core and two legislative committees are studying the issue, but no state GOP leaders are calling for its full repeal.