Friday, March 20, 2015

Arizona Senate Committee Says Yes to Ditching Common Core Standards

Posted By on Fri, Mar 20, 2015 at 12:30 PM

click to enlarge COURTESY OF SHUTTERSTOCK
  • Courtesy of Shutterstock

There have been several anti-Common Core bills that have been dropped this legislative session. House Bill 2190 is the sole survivor of that group, and, after passing the state House last week, it has now cleared a Senate committee. 

The bill passed with an amendment that would allow the state Board of Education to have a say in adopting new standards. A previous draft of the bill said that the board's only duty would be to administer the standards to public schools, while a new committee—the Arizona Education Standards Steering Committee—would have the responsibility to acquire them without any input from the board (unless the committee and Legislature were OK with it).

The legislation also asks the state to redevelop assessments.

During the hearing yesterday, supporters and opponents of the College and Career Ready Standards—from politicians to teachers and even a fifth grader—shared their insight.

Common Core haters have constantly argued that they are too federally driven, and the the feds have no business sticking their nose in educational methods used by states. Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas based her campaign on recalling the standards.

Proponents say it will help kids be better prepared for college, and that the standards foster critical thinking. Also, they said a lot of money has already been spent in rolling out the standards at schools.

If it passes the state Senate and becomes law, the state would time-travel back to 2010 to use the standards that were in place back then, until new ones are set up by 2017.

By Aug. 1 of that year, the board and the established committee would need to have adopted new standards for English language arts, American history, science and math. Through the process, the two would have to consult with the Arizona Board of Regents.

Two other anti-Common Core bills—SB 1305 and SB 1458—did not get lucky in the Senate, so whether this one will, who knows. 

Last year, efforts to kill the standards failed, including a bill that was vetoed by then-Gov. Jan Brewer.

More than 40 states have adopted Common Core. The Board of Education adopted them in 2010.

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