Open Letter to Arizona Legislators: Mother Speaks out Against Common Core

February 22, 2015

Dear Arizona Legislators,

Greetings.  I am sending this letter to encourage you to please vote in favor of all legislation that removes the implementation of Common Core State Standards (or standards like CCSS) and standardized testing based on CCSS (such as AZMerit and PARCC) from the state of Arizona as a requirement. 

I became aware of CCSS before most due to the piloting of curriculum at my child’s school.  Two of my children who began using CCSS English curriculum at their school changed before my eyes from individuals who loved to read and write in their free time to children who no longer desired to pick up a book or write.  My son refused to complete English writing assignments due to the dumbed-down approach of CCSS.  Like a thief in the night, the love of reading and writing was stolen from my two children, and now I am fighting to get it back which is why I am a member of my school district’s governing board.  Please take a stand for the children of Arizona and vote to repeal Common Core State Standards and the accompanying standardized testing. 

I have witnessed my school district spend millions of dollars the last few years all in the name of Common Core on items such as new curriculum; new textbooks; training teachers on the standards and new curriculum;  hiring or upgrading administrative positions to implement and assess the progress of Common Core.  Our superintendent requested and received approval from our governing board last month the ability to purchase Chrome Books and upgrade our network in part due to the AZMerit test.  This request only covered one grade of students costing the district approximately $5 million dollars in one fiscal year.  The goal is to purchase a digital device for every student in the district which will cost the district millions annually for initial and maintenance costs.  With the removal of CCSS and the AZMerit test, school districts should be able to “find” potentially millions of dollars in their annual budgets that were allocated to the implementation of CCSS. 

I support Governor Ducey and Superintendent Douglas.  Governor Ducey has a difficult job of digging our state out of a deficit which will cause some temporary but necessary pain for the long term financial health of our state.  I ask that you join me in supporting these two as we all work together to provide a quality education for the children of our state.  Thank you for your service to our state.  Your hard work is appreciated!

Sincerely,

Julie Smith 

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