Open Letter to Olsen and Kestell5.20.13 _3_ by StevenFoley


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 open-
mindedness 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.

[the undersigned]
Kim Simac                           Jeffrey Horn                     Marv Munyon
Northwoods Patriots                 Prairie Patriots                 Rock River Patriots
Eagle River, WI                     Sun Prairie, WI                  Fort Atkinson, WI
Ed Willing                          Charles Brey                     Kirsten Lombard               United In Freedom                The Wisconsin 9/12 Project
Caledonia, WI                       Beaver Dam, WI                   Madison, WI
Edward Perkins                      Oriannah Paul                    Joanne Terry
The Fox Valley Initiative           Sheboygan Liberty Coalition      Ozaukee Patriots
Appleton, WI                        Sheboygan, WI                    Mequon, WI
Jane Carpenter                      Georgia Janisch                  Greg Luce
Suburban Republican Women’s         Rock County Voter Education      The La Crosse Tea Party
Club                                Forum                            La Crosse, WI
Milwaukee, WI                       Janesville, WI
Randy & Roberta Brice               Dick Koltz                       Aaron McEvoy
Manitowoc County Tea Party          N.E.W. Patriots                  Young Americans for Liberty
Manitowoc, WI                       Green Bay, WI                    UW-Madison

Steve Welcenbach                    Eric Shimpach                    Karl Koenigs
Separately for each: Conservative   Young Americans for Liberty –    Wisconsin TEA Party Committee
Insurgency & Menomonee Falls        Sauk County                      on State Sovereignty
Taxpayer Association                Baraboo, WI                      Peshtigo, WI
Menomonee Falls, WI
Joana Briggs                        James Leist                      James Murphy
Greendale Tea Party                 Manitowoc TEA Movement           Green Bay Tea Party
Greendale, WI                       Manitowoc, WI                    Green Bay, WI
Kim Mork                            Andrea Lombard                   Seth Cowan
Beloit Tea Party                    Sauk County Tea Party            Wolf River Area Patriots
Beloit, WI                          Baraboo, WI                      New London, WI
Tea Party Perspective               Robert & Jean Dohnal             Michael Hintze
Racine, WI                          Wisconsin Conservative Digest    Tea Party Patriots
                                    Wauwatosa, WI                    Wisconsin
Dan Curran                          Darin Danelski                   Paul Lembrich
Concerned Citizens of Iowa          Lake Country Area Defenders of   Separately for each: Southern
County                              Liberty                          Wisconsin Alliance of Taxpayers,
Dodgeville, WI                      Oconomowoc, WI                   Beloit, WI & Citizens for Better
                                                                     Government, Janesville, WI
Jayne Gohr                          Kip Ertel                        Brian Garrow
Mayville TEA Party                  We The People                    THE GROUP
Mayville, WI                        Sheboygan, WI                    Appleton, WI
Tina Hollenbeck                     Tony Nasvik                      Alan Scholl
The Educational Freedom             Wisconsin Faith & Freedom        FreedomProject Education
Coalition                           Coalition                        Appleton, WI
Green Bay, WI                       Hudson, WI
Kristi Lacroix
High School Teacher
Kenosha, WI
                                         Concerned Parents
Mojgan Hall, Waunakee, WI                          Kristen Welch, Grafton, WI
Wally Hitt, Marinette, WI                          Galen & Denise Wadzinski, Green Bay, WI
Cheri Mastel, Brookfield, WI                       Michael & Kristine Hagen, Green Bay, WI
Sulynn Moore, Manitowoc, WI                        Daniel Zlotorzynski, Port Washington, WI
Sarah Quinones, Madison, WI                        Nikki Batzel, Cedar Grove, WI
Jean Bury Weymier, West Bend, WI                   Deidre Zlotorzynski, Port Washington, WI
Jeff Hollenbeck, Green Bay, WI                     Martin & Laura McGlone, Dupont, WI

Melissa Goines, Racine, WI                         Trina Waterstradt, New London, WI
Kelly Plaza, Port Washington, WI                   Melody & Bruce Ashmore, Green Bay, WI
Curt & Kelly Pieschek, Green Bay, WI               Becky Lemons, Green Bay, WI
Sue Fietzer, Madison, WI                           Brad & Beth Jarosinski, Pulaski, WI
Eric & Angela Bergstrom, Green Bay, WI             Rev. Steven Graham & Lois Graham, Green Bay, WI
Lisa L. Larson, Luck, WI                           Bill & Julie Schroeder, DePere, WI
Hannah Fansler, Dresser, WI                        Corinne Baumeister, Fredonia, WI
Jennifer King, Racine, WI                          Jodi Buntin, New Franken, WI
Brian & Amy Matthys, Kewaunee, WI                  George & Ardath Klicka, Milwaukee, WI
Nadine & David Krahn, Eden, WI                     Brian & Sheila Higginbotham, Greenleaf, WI
Cathy Munns, Belgium, WI                           Sara & Wei-chuan Wang, Green Bay, WI
Amber Ravatsaas, Random Lake, WI                   Lisa Christian, Green Bay, WI
Marci Ferrell, Cedarburg, WI                       Marcia Alder, West Bend, WI
Joyce Bant, Hazelhurst, WI

                                         Concerned Citizens

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

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