by Jennifer Reynolds
Arizonans Against Common Core
HB2047- the AIMS to PARRC transition bill has been delayed in the Senate because "We the People" have awakened to how poor the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI) are in our state. Common Core never had a public review before it was implemented by the AZ Department of Education (AZED), by former Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne on June 2010. No cost analysis was done either showing what impact it would have on our local school districts, to teachers in the classrooms and, therefore, the impact it would have on the families who would have to eventually pay for these new standards through increased taxation. Current Superintendent, John Huppenthal, has requested $600 million dollars to upgrade the ancient AZED databases with the HB2047 bill. Where is this money going to come from? A cost analysis on Common Core was done by AccountabilityWorks which has stated that it will cost $15.8 billion across the states to implement Common Core!
All of the money spent thus far on Common Core has come from Federal stimulus money- Race-to-the-top (RTTT) Phase III grant which was $25 million. The AZED also received money from PARRC (Partnership for Assessment Readiness for College and Careers), with 22 other states, to develop the new student assessment tests ($186 million shared amongst the states), and a $5 million dollar grant from the Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems. PARCC just announced this week that they were going to outsource their assessment system to 501(c)(3) companies because by 2014 they will be broke. Again, when are we going to realize we cannot afford these new standards??
Common Core violates two Federal Statues- Family Education Rights to Privacy Act (FERPA) and The General Education Provisions Act. Common Core erodes state sovereignty by further federalizing our education systems and taking more control out of the hands of the states and especially the parents!
Most importantly, the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI) was not internationally benchmarked and will not make our children more "college ready!" Dr. Sandra Stotsky and Dr. James Milgram, two members of the Common Core Validation Committee have testified to this fact, that their committee was never shown the international benchmarks, and that they were only a "rubber stamp" committee. They refused to sign off on the final standards along with two other members because the Common Core standards were "sub par" and they would not make our students more "college ready."
When is the AZED going to realize that they were conned by Obama with a "No-child-left-behind" waiver and federal stimulus money (RTTP grant, PARRC grant and SLDS grant) and admit that Common Core is Rotten to the Core?! When are they going to listen to "We the People of AZ" and exit Common Core? When will we return to the "free market system" and not allow the federal government to control our state education systems?