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.
Follows is a September 2017 letter written by Gary Morris, Chairman of the Gila County Republican Committee, to the Editor of the Payson Roundup newspaper. It seems that this newspaper, like many others across Arizona, despise Republicans and will do all possible to defeat them. In this case, Arizona Sen. Sylvia Allen is the target.
The Roundup recently published a front-page story titled “Feuding factions in GOP” about disagreements between State Senator Sylvia Allen and Navajo County Republican Committee Chairman Steve Slaton. It was placed at the top of the front page fold (a position generally reserved for only BIG stories).
I’m a bit confused as to why a small story in a town 100 miles away would be pertinent, or of interest, to Roundup readers to rate such an important “headline” position — except for a political punch.
Could it be that the Roundup’s true intent was to discredit REPUBLICAN State Senator Sylvia Allen? Or to also discredit any Republican candidate, committees, or clubs in Gila County?
An opponent of Frank Riggs, who is running for Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction, is promising to "get the federal government out of state education." That rhetoric sure sounds good. However, it’s doubtful that Frank’s opponent knows much about the federal government’s role in Arizona, or how to get it out of the state without jeopardizing our rural communities and our most vulnerable student populations.
Frank Riggs knows that K-12 education is primarily a responsibility of state and local government. In fact, former Congressman Riggs is the only candidate with an actual record and legislative history of fighting to restore state and local control in K-12 education. But he also understands the truth about the federal government’s involvement in K-12 education, and where the money is, how it’s spent, and what it will take to replace those federal dollars.
Here’s Frank Riggs in his own words:
You’ve heard that Arizona ranks 49 in per pupil K-12 spending. On its face, it sounds disgraceful. But that doesn’t mean it’s causal to education outcomes. It also doesn’t mean that Arizona is stingy. There is much more to the story. The Arizona Tax Research Association (ATRA) has put together a 9-page document titled Arizona K-12 School Finance Statistics: Providing Context to a Complex Measurement, that provides factual information relating to the reasons and fallacies surrounding the commonly argued narrative that Arizona doesn’t fund K-12 education adequately.
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.
At a recent Legislative District meeting, an opponent of Frank Riggs, who is also running for Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction, asserted that two bills co-sponsored by former Congressman Riggs "…crippled the logging industry" and "crippled the fishing industry." The fact is that Congressman Riggs did exactly the opposite! His bills helped those industries! He was one of the strongest supporters in Congress of the resource-based industries and private property rights. Because of his opposition to the extreme environmental movement, eco-terrorists targeted Riggs and even rampaged through his office vandalizing it and dragging in a tree stump and chaining themselves to it.
Here is the Truth, as stated by Candidate Riggs:
Please plan on attending the Saturday, October 21 meeting of the Cobre Valley Republican Club. The featured guest speaker is Frank Riggs, candidate for Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction. The meeting begins at 9:30 am at 424 N. Broad Street in Globe, Arizona. Everyone is welcome!
Frank Riggs has served country and community as an Army veteran and former police officer. An education leader who gets results, he’s been called “the most qualified candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction in Arizona History.”