Arizona joins growing movement to ditch federal standards
An Arizona House committee voted yesterday in favor of legislation that would eliminate Common Core school standards, marking the Grand Canyon State’s first serious move toward doing away with the federally-imposed curriculum.
“Notwithstanding any other law, the State Board of Education may not adopt and the Department of Education may not implement the Common Core standards, the state’s College and Career Ready Standards, or any other standards or assessments that are aligned with standards or assessments proposed by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers,” the bill’s text reads. “Any actions that were previously taken to adopt or implement standards or assessments that conflict with this section are void on the effective date of this section.”
The Arizona State Board of Education adopted the Common Core federal standards in 2010, but as in other parts of the nation they’ve proven unpopular with parents and many conservatives who claim the curriculum is too costly and another way for the federal government to wrest control of education from the state.
Arizona State Superintendent Diane Douglas (R) recently ran on an anti-Common Core platform, and won, exemplifying the state’s discontent with the caustic standards.
Last week, the newly-elected Douglas accused Republican Governor Doug Ducey of conspiring with Common Core proponents to undermine her efforts after she received flak for firing two Arizona State Board of Education administrators.
“Governor Ducey has refused to take calls or meetings with me personally since his swearing in,” Douglas stated in a press release. “Clearly he has established a shadow faction of charter school operators and former state Superintendents who support Common Core and moving funds from traditional public schools to charter schools.”
Of course, HB 2190 and a similar anti-Common Core bill – HB 2392 – are still far from appearing on Gov. Ducey’s desk, but with those proposals Arizona joins a growing number of states that have moved to either dilute the standards or reject them outright, with South Carolina, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Indiana moving to exit the standards completely.
Last week, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, a former Common Core proponent, released his “Education Reform Road Map” which effectively called for the repeal of the standards.
“It’s bad enough that the federal government has begun tying compliance with Common Core to federal funds, but once you see the methods and the homework that accompanies Common Core, the verdict is in, Common Core must go,” the 42-page plan states.
Numerous parents have expressed frustration at the Common Core lesson plans, homework and worksheets, with some outspoken critics like comedian Louis C.K. claiming the math problems made his children cry.
“My kids used to love math. Now it makes them cry. Thanks standardized testing and common core!” the comedian said in a series of anti-Common Core Twitter rants last April.
One of the prime movers behind the initiative, Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates, has donated over $170 million toward its implementation, yet Gates’ own children attend an elitist private academy in Seattle, where they aren’t taught Common Core methods.