Decision 2017: Board Candidates on Common Core

How do you think Common Core should be used in the West Bend School District?


Joel Ongert

That is a complicated question because the Common Core discussion has been so politicized. I believe in high standards and Common Core is a set of standards. The confusion starts when people misunderstand standards for curriculum. Common Core is not curriculum. I believe that teachers are subject matter experts and should create curriculums. Administrators, the federal government, the school board do not have the knowledge base to build or approve curriculums. We should trust that we hire the best instructors and get out of their way to let them do their jobs! Ultimately, the race to meet Common Core has resulted in more testing and teaching to the test as well as haphazard curriculum changes here in West Bend. As a school board member, I will work diligently to stop that cycle. That doesn’t mean we lower standards, it means that we focus on putting authentic learning first again.

Ryan Gieryn

Common Core is simply a set of standards. According to state law, all school districts must adopt standards. Wisconsin has adopted portions of Common Core as their state standards. Therefore, portions of Common Core are often adopted by most school districts in Wisconsin as their standards, including the West Bend School District.

I really don’t believe that there is anything wrong with Common Core given that it is only standards, or what students are required to learn. It is the curriculums that dictate how these standards are taught and learned. I believe that is the most important thing, selecting the right curriculums.

Nancy Justman

Common Core is a standard and I do believe we need standards in the district as with any business and/or organization. How we achieve those standards needs to be looked at and refined. We as a district need to ensure that we are meeting students’ needs first and working with staff to establish the best curriculum to achieve measurable goals and objectives for students.

Tonnie Schmidt

Common Core is a set of standards, not a curriculum. It is a set of minimum standards. In order for students to learn more than just enough to pass a standardized test, we need to let the teachers create curriculums that students find engaging and enlightening. I think students WANT to learn, but it’s hard to learn when a teacher’s primary focus must be teaching students how to take a test, rather than actually educating them. We need to focus on education, not just test taking.

Richard Cammack

I have gone to many meetings against Common Core but have recently looked over some library books on the Common Core and feel I need to get more teacher/student input.

Bob Miller

From what I know of Common Core, we are only using a portion of it currently but supplementing other portions of curriculum with it as well. I am not a fan of Common Core as I don’t understand many of the principles that it tries to teach our students. I believe that we need to keep an open mind and make sure that we consider all possibilities of other curriculums as well.

Responses are full transcripts and listed in the order that the candidates will appear on the ballot. Read more about the candidates at The Current, including their backgrounds and their responses regarding Galileo testing and their motivations for running

The school board election is Tuesday, April 4.

Interviews by Current reporters Maddie Aamodt, Abby Gawrych, Kritika Gupta and Lily Mottet.

1 Comment

Filed under Community, School News and Features

One response to “Decision 2017: Board Candidates on Common Core

  1. Candi Martin

    I read each section of this article and am impressed with how well written it was and with such great detail. While I work for one of the elementary schools in the West Bend School District, I am unable to vote for members of the school board because I live in a neighboring school district. I’ll be checking the high school website where I live to see if they have done as good a job of coverage (for the school district in which I live) on such an important issue. Thank You!

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