by Jennifer Reynolds, Creator of Arizonans Against Common Core and member of Mommy Lobby AZ
The second rebrand of Common Core is no more than Lipstick on a Pig. Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas continues to travel around the state in 2018 on the campaign trail telling crowds that she “Stopped Common Core” as part of her 2014 campaign promise. This is far from the truth! Common Core was Rebranded a second time on December 19, 2016 when the 2016 Arizona English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics Standards were adopted by the State Board of Education (SBE) with an 8-1 vote. See Arizona State Board Of Education Approves Rebrand Of Common Core Standards and State Board Of Education Ignores Governor, Parents And Own Policy.
SBE member Jared Taylor was the only vote opposing the adoption of these standards and he stated, “The bottom line is that I am very disappointed that we kicked the parents to the curb and ignored the will of the voters when they elected Diane Douglas. Yet she led the way today; we just renewed Common Core.”
Comments from Mommy Lobby, Arizonans Against Common Core, Opt Out AZ
IGNORED by Supt Douglas, ADE, SBE Exec Director, Gov. Ducey’s Educ. Policy Director
Mommy Lobby AZ (ML), Arizonans Against Common Core (AACC), and Opt Out AZ reviewed the 1st and 2nd drafts of the 2016 Arizona ELA and Mathematics standards and submitted our comments directly to Superintendent Diane Douglas, as well as to the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) Standards Staff, Carol Lippert and Suzi Mast; the former State Board of Education (SBE) Executive Director, Karol Schmidt; and Governor Ducey’s Education Policy Director, Dawn Wallace numerous times in 2016.
Comments Compiled by Parents and Teachers
IGNORED by Arizona Legislators, SLAPPED DOWN by Supt. Douglas
Dear Dr. Branch,
Several parents were shocked to read your comments in the 1-18-18 briefs. It’s obvious that you don’t understand what is really going on in Arizona’s classrooms —which is very disappointing, since you are a candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction.
You have a massive misunderstanding on the recess issue. The traditional three 15-minute recess has been eliminated in most schools across the state. Many schools are down to one 10-minute recess per day, and some have no recess at all! These are not college students. They’re young children! They need to move! Studies have shown that physical activity improves academic performance. Americans are well known for their creativity and ingenuity —unlike China where academics are all that matter. We foster entrepreneurs and inventors in the USA. Recess promotes these desirable American characteristics. Recess is correlated with improved student behavior in the classroom. Recess also promotes social skills and helps kids learn how to deal with bullying —which is the opposite of giving them “comfort lamas and safe places,” as you stated.
Hopefully, you read the letter that educational tutor Barry Jackson sent to Betsy DeVos. In it you can see the damage that is being done to our children by the Arizona State Board of Education when they, along with then Gov. Jan Brewer and Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne, in 2010, brought the Common Core Machine to Arizona. They did this in hopes of "winning" millions of dollars from our federal government via Race to the Top.
Since that time, Common Core has been rebranded, twice. Further, the pro-Common Core State Board has ensured that the damage continues. These people consider themselves "experts," a term that is being met with cynicism by a growing number of critically thinking people.
"Board member Jared Taylor, who has been consistent in his opposition to Common Core, was the lone “no” vote.
“The bottom line is that I am very disappointed that we kicked the parents to the curb and ignored the will of the voters when they elected Diane Douglas. Yet she led the way today; we just renewed Common Core,” stated Taylor. Arizona State Board Of Education Approves Rebrand Of Common Core Standards
If you have any doubts about the negative effects of High Stakes Testing, there are many others who agree with Barry Jackson. They also say it is counter-productive, expensive, wasteful, and it is also child abuse.
As you read some of the comments below from the real experts, both local and national,–there are thousands more that I have not quoted–please recall that the Arizona State Board of Education voted in April 2017, to make 90% of a school’s A-F grade dependent on how well their students scored on the High Stakes test, AZMerit.
Did you happen to see this article by Steven Singer? More importantly, did PARENTS see it? Sure, school is hard. Kids complain. If they really, really complain, parents go to the teachers. Teachers reassure them. Principals and Superintendents reassure them. After all, they’re the "experts," not parents. Kids are just "softer" than when we went to school. Right?
Wrong. Something is very, very wrong.
"Here’s a high stakes testing statistic you won’t hear bandied about on the news. The suicide rate among 10- to 14-year-olds doubled between 2007 and 2014 – the same period in which states have increasingly adopted Common Core standards and new, more rigorous high stakes tests. For the first time, suicide surpassed car crashes as a leading cause of death for middle school children. In 2014, the last year for which data was available, 425 middle schoolers nationwide took their own lives."
In April 2017, the Arizona State Board of Education voted to give Arizona schools a grade of A-F, based on student AZMerit test scores. Members of the State Board of Education are "experts," too. Right?
According to Jared Taylor, with his moral compass intact, voted against this travesty. He stated:
An article published on April 28, 2017 in the Arizona Daily Independent, reports on a recent vote by the Arizona State Board of Education to use the results of Common Core-aligned AZMerit high stakes test to grade public schools.
Arizonans Against Common Core, Mommy Lobby AZ, and Opt Out AZ, released a statement after the vote: “Parents advocating for their children and teachers are dismayed by the A-F Accountability plan adopted by the Arizona State Board of Education. One high stakes test now accounts for 90% of a school’s letter grade. This decision reveals the SBE believes parents are incapable of selecting schools on their own. Few other factors matter to the state; however, parents make thoughtful school choices based on their own values, research, and judgment.”
So, the AZ. State Board of Education is using the controversial, unvalidated, one-size-fits all, secretive, high stakes AZ Merit to “evaluate” every public school in Arizona. The only people who have seriously donned their thinking caps are SBE board member Jared Taylor, Choice Academies president Ms. Lisa Fink, and commentators “Listen to a Mom” and Edward Cizek. The letter grade a school receives using AZ Merit scores as the most critical criteria, will be useless to parents. Do the board members actually believe otherwise? What a waste of time, effort, and money. Ms. Fink, who is quoted extensively, uses Consumer Reports as an example of what truly passes for an evaluation of a product. I would add that we use far more criteria evaluating the nutritional value of canned soup and cereal.
Wouldn’t you think that, by now, most Arizonans know that Superintendent Diane Douglas is lying when she repeatedly tells people that Arizona’s "new standards are ‘No way’ Common Core-like"!! I guess she thinks that, if she repeats the lie often enough, people will believe it.
Gilbert Watch has published two side-by-side comparisons, which were put together by a mother with the Mommy Lobby: 1) The old Common Core Math compared to Arizona’s New Math Standards, and 2) The old Common Core English/Language Arts standards compared to Arizona’s New English/Language Arts standards.
Recently, a mother with the Mommy Lobby produced a simple, two-sided flyer that you can distribute to your friends, family, legislators, parents, children, by-standers, curiosity seekers, etc: "How Much of the Common Core Standards Really Changed?"
For anyone who wants to know everything there is to know about Common Core, so you, too, can be sick to death of it, see below. As for me, I’m researching homeschooling.
Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas, whose campaign promise was to "eliminate the Common Core standards," issued a Dec. 19, 2016 Press Release to the public stating, “These new standards represent the final step in the repeal and replacement of Common Core in Arizona and they reflect the thoughts and recommendations of thousands of Arizona citizens.”
Nowhere does she mention the role that Achieve, Inc. played in reviewing and commenting on Arizona’s "Redline" versions of the English/Language Arts (ELA) standards, the K-5 Math Standards, and the 6-8 and High School Math Standards. You will find literally hundreds of comments from this organization, more than from anyone else.
by Jennifer Reynolds, publisher of Arizonans Against Common Core.
A Rebrand of Common Core is coming unless we stop it through our combined voices speaking against the proposed 2016 English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics Standards. Very little has changed with these 2016 Standards and we will still have Common Core!
Stand for Children/Arizona has just endorsed 26 candidates for the Arizona Legislature in the Primary Election on August 30. “Stand for Children Arizona does not take its endorsement process lightly. These candidates have been fully vetted to make sure they currently agree with, and will stay true to a majority of Stand’s policies and educational priorities that we believe will bring the quickest results."
A review of Stand for Children/Arizona’s website indicates that this group proudly supports the entire Common Core agenda, aka Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards, including AzMerit.
Stand is proud to have defeated a litany of anti-Common Core legislation, as well as other bills that parents have fought for, including the defeated SB1455. This bill would have acknowledged that parents know more than the State about what’s best for their own children. These parents wanted to opt their children out of the unvalidated, secretive AzMerit. Stand would have none of it. See "Top Legislative Results."
Parents and their children suffered verbal and emotional abuse at the hands of school administrators, teachers, other parents, and other students for daring to opt out of AZMerit. Remember? See Sen. Allen calls for schools to respect parents over assessment concerns, The Schools’ War On Arizona’s Children: Part 1, The Schools’ War on Arizona’s Children: Part 2 Online Charter Schools The Schools’ War on Arizona’s Children: Part 3 Emotional Child Abuse.
Voters should be wary of groups that "sound" wonderful. Scratch the surface, and you discover how pro-Statist and anti-Family they truly are. Expect More Arizona is another such group. See Is Expect More Arizona in it for the Money?
This heavily referenced, 48-page document is the result of three months of research effort on the part of members of Arizona’s Mommy Lobby, with the help of Emmett McGroarty of the American Principles Project. It has been distributed to Arizona’s House and Senate Education Committees, Governor Ducey’s office, most of Arizona’s leadership, as well as the Arizona State Board of Education. If you have questions about Common Core in Arizona (aka Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards) most of the answers are contained in this document titled the National Common Core Standards System.
Chapter headings include: 1) History of Common Core: America and Arizona; 2) The Common Core are Inferior, Defective, and do Not Lead to Readiness for Authentic College Work; 3) High Stakes Testing; 4) Data Collection and Personally Identifiable Information; and 5) Teacher Accountability.