Dear Commons Community,
The New York Times is reporting that Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona urged state education officials yesterday to re-evaluate the Common Core standards adopted by the state and meant to guide what students learn from kindergarten through graduation. He said he saw them as an example of the federal government overstepping its bounds. In a speech outlining his agenda to the State Board of Education, the governor did not call for repealing the Common Core, but instead asked the board to review the language and mathematics standards “in their entirety” and tailor the curriculum in ways to meet the needs of students in Arizona.
“We can learn from others, but at the end of the day the standards need to come from Arizona, and they need to help us achieve our objectives,” Mr. Ducey told the board.
Governor Ducey joins a number of other state officials questioning the Common Core on grounds of federal government overreach.
The Times article commented:
“Lisa Graham Keegan, a former superintendent of public instruction in Arizona, said that for some, opposition to the Common Core was driven not by the standards themselves but by a centralized process that made it harder for parents and educators to contribute to the discussion. She said there was little disagreement on the fundamentals that students should learn.
“I don’t think that’s a shallow thing,” Ms. Keegan, now an education policy consultant, said of the public’s desire to have its say. “I think it’s incredibly important. I don’t know if other states need it. I know we do.”
During his speech, Governor Ducey asked the board to include parents, teachers, administrators and other experts in its evaluation of the Common Core.
“This review should include input from people at all levels of education from every corner of our state,” he said. “And in any instance during your review, you find situations where Arizona standards can outperform the ones already adopted, I ask you to replace them.”
Ms. Graham and Governor Ducey are correct. The Common Core has a lot to offer but it was force upon many states by the U.S. Department of Education in return for Race to the Top funds. There absolutely needs to be an evaluation process that includes all constituents down to the local level. Let us also keep in mind that it is the localities that provide the majority of funds for public education not the federal government.