Monday, March 30, 2015

'Let's Ditch Common Core' Bill Lands in the State Senate Floor for Debate Today

Posted By on Mon, Mar 30, 2015 at 8:30 AM

Ducey visits Countryside Elementary School in Surprise, Arizona. - COURTESY OF GOV. DOUG DUCEY'S OFFICE
  • Courtesy of Gov. Doug Ducey's Office
  • Ducey visits Countryside Elementary School in Surprise, Arizona.

The Arizona Sate Senate is debating legislation that would rid Arizona of the Common Core standards. A Senate committee said yes to HB 2190 a couple of weeks ago. 

The committee passed the bill with an amendment allowing the state Board of Education to collaborate with the Arizona Education Standards Steering Committee (committee would be established if the bill gets the green light) in adopting new standards and redeveloping new assessments.

If it becomes law, the state would go back to the standards that were in place in 2010, while new ones are established. The board and committee would have until Aug. 1, 2017 to re-work the standards for English language arts, American history, science and math.

Opponents of the bill, which is sponsored by Oro Valley Republican state Rep. Mark Finchem, say the state has already spent tons of money establishing Common Core in the classrooms, and that ditching those for new ones would cost another few million dollars. But people who hate the standards, including Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas, say they are too federally-driven. 

Last week, Gov. Doug Ducey said Arizona doesn't need to get rid of Common Core. While he isn't a fan, he asked the Board of Education to conduct a thorough review of the language arts and math standards to better adapt them to Arizona. 

He asked for the involvement of parents, students and teachers from around the state.

"We can learn from others, but at the end of the day the standards need to come from Arizona and they need to help us achieve our objectives," Ducey told the board. "And in any instance during your review, you find situations where Arizona standards can outperform the ones already adopted, I ask you to replace them."

The Senate previously trashed two other anti-Common Core bills—SB 1305 and SB 1458.

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. 

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