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.
"Frank Riggs believes in empowering parents who know what’s best for their children. He will put students first and parents in charge.”
– Gina Ray, Founder of Opt Out AZ! & Member of Mommy Lobby AZ
"Frank Riggs believes parental rights are supreme. He supports local control and accountability that should be between a parent, child and teacher and not dictated by government bureaucrats."
– Jennifer Reynolds, Founder of Arizonans Against Common Core & Member of Mommy Lobby AZ
"Frank Riggs believes each student has special talents and knows that one-size-fits-all standards make school choice an empty platitude."
– Olga Tarro, Elementary School Parent Member, State Board of Education’s Arizona Standards Development Committee & Member of Mommy Lobby AZ
“Frank Riggs is a proven leader in education at every level. His extensive background in district, charter and governmental leadership positions is without equal.”
– Lisa Fink, Co-Founder and President of Choice Academies
“Frank Riggs is a proven leader in education at every level. His extensive background in district, charter and governmental leadership positions is without equal.”gs has been in the forefront of the school choice and charter school movements for years. He has walked his talk and is a champion of local control and parental school choice."
– Shawnna L.M. Bolick, High School Parent Member, State Board of Education’s Arizona Standards Development Committee & Former Charter School Board Member
Criticisms From Those Who Know Frank Riggs the Least
Some folks want to see Frank Riggs defeated, basing their judgment on a parsing of his Congressional voting record while representing Northern California 20 years ago. These folks are ignorant of his educational record back then, and all the way to the present.
Unlike Senator Jeff Flake, who broke his term limit pledge, Rep. Frank Riggs kept his Term Limit promise to serve no more than three terms (six years). So, what did he accomplish?
Rep. Riggs did his best to author legislation to protect students with learning disabilities and the federal charter school law. He sponsored legislation to ban federal funding for any form of national testing; sponsored legislation to require 95 cents of every federal dollar for K-12 education be spent in the classroom (the "Dollars to the Classroom Act"); and sponsored legislation converting the largest federal education program (Title 1 for low-income, disadvantaged students) into a voucher program ("Help Scholarships" – Helping Empower Low-income Parents).
One of the bills featured was his Amendment to H.R.4194, prohibiting the City of San Francisco (and any other municipality) from forcing private companies to offer domestic partner benefits as a condition of their business license. The bill narrowly passed the House 214-212. That took moral courage.
Here’s some information, found in GOVTRACK, on Rep. Riggs’ voting record that provides a more complete picture. Note that he’s in the 95th percentile on the ideological scale in the 105th Congress.
Congress.Gov is another organization that tracks a legislator’s votes.
As you might know, the Congressional Review Act which Rep. Riggs co-authored/sponsored has been used by the Trump Administration and the current Congress (under a Resolution of Disapproval) to repeal 14 major regulations enacted in the last 90 days of the Obama Administration (including the latest regulations under the Every Student Succeeds Act, aka the Elementary and Secondary Education Act)!
In addition, Rep. Riggs garnered the following:
A ratings (and endorsements) from National Right to Life and the NRA; A grade from Numbers USA, two million members strong, for his votes to stop illegal immigration and opposing amnesty. His "Taxpayer Hero" award from Citizens Against Government Waste; the “Golden Bulldog” award from Watchdogs of the Treasury; the "Jefferson Award" from Citizens for a Sound Economy; the "Taxpayers’ Friend Award" from the National Taxpayers’ Union; and the "Guardian of Small Business" award from NFIB.
He earned those recognitions based on his voting record in Congress. He was also a member of the “Gang of 7” that exposed Congressional abuses of power at the House Bank and Post Office in his first term in office (102nd Congress).
Former SPI John Huppenthal reverses his stand on Common Core.
Here are some interesting quotes from former Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal, who has changed his opinion of Common Core. Remember him? He called all of us who opposed Common Core "barbarians at the gate!"
"Common Core is the latest fad to hit education and, now that the results are in, turns out to have been the most damaging one in history.”
“The best thing that the Federal Government can do is to become a nothing. Turn all the funding into per student block grants and shut down.”
~ John Huppenthal, former Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction in interview with Rose Law Group Reporter.
Diane Douglas to Anybody Who Will Listen: "Who you gonna believe? Me or your lyin’ eyes"?
Current Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas has been a depressing disappointment to all of us who supported her. She has lied to our faces; she has insulted us; she continues lying to anyone and everyone that Common Core has been replaced; and she wants a tax increase. Under incumbent Douglas’s leadership, she and the Arizona Department of Education have spent close to $4 million in the two years she’s been in office. This includes hundreds of thousands of dollars on outside legal fees as a result of her litigation with the State Board of Education. See Douglas Pushes False Narrative to get Additional Funding. And what about incumbent Douglas’s ridiculous and inconsequential "We Are Listening" tours? Those are for the purpose of campaigning, er, uh, I mean, “listening” to parents’ horror stories about Common Core. Then, she lies to them, saying that Common Core has “removed and replaced.” Except that, upon close examination, we learn that 93% of the K-3 English standards have remained unchanged, and 95% K-3 Math standards have remained unchanged. Kevin Carney, the Chief Executive Officer of Beyond Textbooks, Vail Unified School District, stated "The good news is that there are minimal changes as a whole to the existing standards." See Beyond Textbooks March 2017 e-Newsletter.