Onalaska superintendent: academic standards, privacy issues not related

Wisconsin state senators continue to discuss possible changes to the state’s current academic standards. The standards, known as the Common Core, were adopted in 2010.

The Common Core is being called into question because some legislators don’t believe it is rigorous enough.

Other legislators are concerned about student privacy, specifically the collection of biometric data including fingerprints and retinal scans.

The superintendent of the Onalaska School District says teachers and administrators in his district have been teaching to the standards for the past year and a-half.

He says the students know more and are doing work at higher levels because of the new standards.

The superintendent also says he doesn’t know why academic standards and privacy issues are being linked together. “There is a misknowmer here. The common core standards are core academic standards. It’s about learning stuff and being able to do things. It has nothing to do with any type of data base of information,” said Superintendent Fran Finco.

A special legislative committee is studying the Common Core standards.

A republican senator from Brookfield wants to repeal the standards. A democratic senator from Racine says republicans on the panel have been incorrectly portraying the standards as part of a federal conspiracy.