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.
When does “repeal and replace” not mean “repeal and replace”? When Supt. Of Public Instruction Diane Douglas says it.
Incumbent Douglas has been cranking out media releases, including taking a recent victory lap on the anniversary of the State Board of Education’s adoption of “Common Core Rebrand #2.” Her false “Common Core has been repealed and replaced” narrative has recently appeared in Frosty Taylor’s 12/20/2017 Briefs. It also appeared in the 12/19/2017 issue of the Yellow Sheet.
For the record, the Common Core Standards haven’t been repealed or replaced. At most, they’ve been “tweaked.”
Don’t be fooled by Douglas’s red herring argument when she states:
Barry Jackson, who tutors children in the East Valley, sent the following letter to Betsy Devos, United States Secretary of Education.
Dear Secretary DeVos:
For several months I have been tutoring a student whose school seems to spend an inordinate amount of time preparing students for standardized tests. First it was two days "reviewing" for a Galileo test. Now she says "we are not doing anything" but preparing for another standardized test, and this is taking several days. Along with "fall break"(two weeks) and "early release" Wednesdays, it is at least even money that she is learning more from me in one hour than she receives in a week in school.
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:
Yes, I’m supporting Frank Riggs for Arizona’s next Superintendent of Public Instruction, and I’m downright enthusiastic about it. Why? Without a doubt, he’s the most qualified. Also, he puts Students first, not the institution of public education. He respects and welcomes dialogue with Parents, not paid, self-interested lobbyists. He is a proven education leader for school choice, local control, and quality education. He believes that quality education means focusing on classroom teaching and learning, and on recruiting and retaining the very best teachers for Arizona’s kids. He has promised to advocate and work tirelessly for a high-quality education to help every child reach their full potential, regardless of where they live or their socio-economic circumstances. He also intends to make the Arizona Department of Education fully transparent, responsive, and accountable to parents, educators and taxpayers.
Please take a look at his website, and you’ll see that not only does he "say" all the right things, but he has also "done" all the right things.
Frank Riggs has earned the endorsements of leaders and parents who want the education of Arizona’s children to be the First Priority! See below for some of their statements about Frank Riggs, and then read his record of leadership, and you’ll know why these dedicated people are fighting for Frank Riggs as Arizona’s next Superintendent of Public Instruction:
Jared Taylor has stated this about Frank Riggs: "Frank Riggs is the most qualified candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction in Arizona’s history.” Not only is Mr. Taylor an anti-Common Core constitutional conservative serving as a Member of the State Board of Education and Gilbert Town Councilman, he is also the business manager for Heritage Academy. One of the missions of this charter school is to ensure that its students learn about the lives, beliefs, and accomplishments of the heroes of America – our founding fathers and mothers – and to better understand the values and principles which governed their lives and upon which they built the American nation.
Mr. Taylor is a leader of the Mommy Lobby, with whom I have been privileged to work for the last 6 years, focusing on defeating The Common Core Machine in Arizona.
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.
Please enjoy a St. Patrick’s Day luncheon and an enlightening speech on "Ensuring a Great Education for All Kids," presented by Frank Riggs, Scottsdale businessman and former U.S. Congressman. Mr. Riggs is also the former CEO of Charter Schools Development Corporation and the founding president of Arizona Connections Academy.
This event will be held at the Sabbar Shrine, 450 S. Tucson Blvd., Tucson, AZ. Tickets are $20 per person. For more information and to purchase tickets, contact Debe Fleenor, email@example.com or text Debe at 520-250-1755.
Golly, I don’t know who to believe. Diane Douglas or my own lyin’ eyes?
(Slide of the above image provided by Robert Michael.)
To read the Common Core Math Standards compared to the "Replacement," click HERE.
To read the Common Core ELA (English/Language Arts) Standards compared to the "Replacement," click HERE.
You don’t need a college degree to see that Arizona hasn’t "replaced" Common Core. All you need is the ability to put on your thinking cap and read.