In September 2014, during the final weeks before he won re-election to a second term as Wisconsin's governor, Scott Walker made a bold pledge about Common Core, the school standards that have roiled conservatives around the country.
He said he would repeal it.
But Walker, who has had a complicated relationship with Common Core, has never gone quite that far.
Common Core is a set of standards for English and math unveiled in 2010 that came out of years of discussion between private nonprofit groups and state education departments. They were put in place in Wisconsin several months before Walker was first elected in 2010.
In January 2015, we decided to test Walker on Common Core on our Flip-O-Meter, which we use to determine whether a politician has changed positions on an issue. We gave Walker a Half Flip. His position had shifted from tacit support of Common Core, to calling on the Legislature to repeal it, to saying he only wanted school districts not to be required to use it.
In February 2015, we rated Walker's pledge to repeal Common Core as Stalled. The state budget proposal he submitted that month reaffirmed the right of school districts to choose to use whatever standards they want. As the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel described it in a news article, that was "largely a toothless proposal because districts already have that authority."
As we reviewed the promise again, Walker spokeswoman Laurel Patrick argued that Walker has kept his promise because the budget prohibits the state superintendent of schools "from requiring any school board to adopt or 'give effect' to any Common Core standard."
But as the Wisconsin State Journal reported in April 2015, the budget doesn't repeal the standards. Instead, it reiterates what state law already provides: that no school board is required to adopt them.
The same month, Walker himself essentially acknowledged as much -- though he resisted the idea that he hadn't put forth a repeal.
In an interview with the anti-Common Core Truth in American Education group, there was this exchange:
Question: "When you campaigned, you were campaigning on a repeal, and are now pushing, putting forth an opt-out."
Walker: "Well, it really is a repeal. There is no law that mandates it. What it does, the language we put in explicitly says school districts don't have to, and that the language in there … there is not a law that says they have to do Common Core."
The interviewer wasn't convinced.
"Wisconsin grassroots activists I've talked to want a real repeal, not an opt-out that could still leave school districts on the hook with Common Core," he wrote.
The issue has continued to dog Walker.
In July 2015, several days before Walker announced his presidential run, The Daily Caller, an online publication that leans conservative, reported that Common Core opponents had released an open letter accusing Walker of pretending to repeal the standards while in fact doing nothing of the sort.
In short, Walker has more time to pursue repeal, but he hasn't done it yet. For now, our rating remains Stalled.