Showdown in Show Low: Common Core State Standards

Karen Warnick, a reporter with the White Mountains Independent, featured an excellent article titled "Huppenthal Grilled on Common Core standards."  Click HERE for the link to the article. 


You may not be able to read the entire article, unless you subscribe.  So,here are some highlights.  


State Superintendent of Schools John Huppenthal heard from many parents and teachers on Arizona’s new educational standards during a meeting of the White Mountain Conservatives held at the VFW on Oct. 23.


Huppenthal and Janet Ryan, owner and operator of the East Valley Academy charter school, spoke on the Common Core Standards, or what is now called the Arizona College and Career Ready Standards. The name was recently changed by Gov. Jan Brewer at Huppenthal’s suggestion. The meeting was also Huppenthal’s idea.  About 80 people attended the meeting, most of them local parents and teachers of various mountain school districts.

“No American should be forced to accept national standards,” said Ryan. “The old standards are superior to these and there was no public discussion or cost analysis done.”

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East Valley Academy in Mesa Steadfastly Refuses Common Core and AZMerit!

Janet Ryan, principal of East Valley Academy, a public charter school for grades K-6, has better things to do than to administer AZMerit.  When you see some of those “better things" she’s doing, you’ll understand why.  Ms. Ryan states, “The writing portion of the AzMerit Test is completely age inappropriate, and there is much in the test that was hastily thrown together.” 

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East Valley Academy K-6: No Common Core!

If you are the conscientious parent of a child/children in grades K-6 and live in Mesa, please consider this highly rated public charter school.  East Valley Academy, 1858 E. Brown Road, is a small school sitting on an acre of land in a house that’s been converted into classrooms.  The school’s leadership has steadfastly refused to incorporate the inferior Common Core and its adherence to "factory learning."   All parents opted their children out of AzMERIT, the "high stakes test" that has never been validated or proven to be reliable.  

Yet, for the past three years running, every student in EVA has met or exceeded every standard in reading, writing, math, and science across all grades K-6.  EVA has a 100% passing rate.  In fact, the school has been rated the #1 performing charter school in Arizona.   Kindergartners learn to read by Christmas.  In some classes, grades 3-6 learn together, at different levels.  It isn’t uncommon for a competitive 10-year old to strive to understand what the older kids are studying.

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Why are Comments from Achieve, Inc. all over Arizona’s Redline version of the ELA and Math Standards?

Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas, whose campaign promise was to "eliminate the Common Core standards," issued a Dec. 19, 2016 Press Release to the public stating, “These new standards represent the final step in the repeal and replacement of Common Core in Arizona and they reflect the thoughts and recommendations of thousands of Arizona citizens.” 

Nowhere does she mention the role that Achieve, Inc. played in reviewing and commenting on Arizona’s "Redline" versions of the English/Language Arts (ELA) standards, the K-5 Math Standards, and the 6-8 and High School Math Standards.  You will find literally hundreds of comments from this organization, more than from anyone else.

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State Board of Education Ignores Governor, Parents, and Own Policy; Rubber Stamps Common Core for Another 7 Years

Members of the State Board of Education’s Arizona Standards Development Committee (ASDC) speak out.

"Preempting the Arizona Standards Development Committee (ASDC) that was about to conclude 18 months of work, on December 19 the State Board of Education (SBE) voted to impose Common Core standards on all Arizona schools—likely at a tremendous cost to the state’s recent education gains!  

In 2010, the SBE adopted "Common Core" for Arizona schools. Parents and teachers soon started having difficulty learning and teaching them. 

Like many government mandates, Common Core benefited those who place profits above our children’s future.   Children who loved math started to hate math.  Children who loved writing started to hate writing.  Parents recognized a problem.  Sometimes, parents with engineering and math degrees couldn’t help their children with basic arithmetic.  

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Please Comment on Arizona’s Existing Science Standards (2004) and Social Studies Standards (2005)

As you recall, public comments regarding Arizona’s 2016 Draft English/Language Arts and Math Standards ended October 3, 2016.  Thank you for commenting on them!

We now have the opportunity to comment on the existing Science Standards (2004) and Social Studies Standards (2005). The public survey to provide feedback on these existing standards will be available through December 3, 2016.

Click HERE for the direct link to the Science Standards (2004).

Click HERE for the direct link to the Social Studies Standards (2005).  

To provide feedback please visit Science and Social Studies Standards – Public Feedback.  According to the Arizona Department of Education, educators (K-12 and higher education) may apply to serve on a revision committee for each of the content areas. The application for committee members will remain open for the duration of the revision process.

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Recommended Modifications to 2016 AZ Draft English/Language Arts Standards: Richard W Hawkins

The following modifications were submitted by Richard W Hawkins, USAF, Lt Col (ret) to the Standards Review committee of the Arizona State Board of Education.

His recommendations included suggestions to modify:  1) Introduction of the 2016 Draft ELA Standards;  2) draft ELA Standards; and 3) Glossary of the 2016 Draft ELA Standards 

He also included the following papers/articles:  Develop the Skills for Finding Truth and Teach and Develop the Skills to use the Laws of Logic and Identify Logical Fallacies, in addition to a Religious Worldview Chart.  (Click HERE to access it.)    

(Please note that the Comment period closed on October 3, 2016.)

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Developmentally Inappropriate Standards for K-3 Should be Removed

In spite of "over 200 teachers spending over 6,000 volunteer hours to complete a comprehensive revision on the standards," the 2016 Arizona Draft Standards have hardly been changed, especially for Kindergarten through Grade 3.  They are still Common Core.  They are still developmentally inappropriate.  You have until Oct. 3 to make a difference in a child’s education!  Please click HERE to comment.  Or send an email to the Arizona State Board inbox at

Grades K-3 are critically important, because whatever is learned in these grades affects a child’s success in every grade that follows.  

The English Language Arts and Math Executive Summaries indicate that the review Committees considered Clarity, Cognitive Demand, and Measurability. 

Why didn’t they ask this question?   “Is the standard developmentally appropriate? 

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