Though adopted in 2010 by Arizona, the state has chosen to back pedal its ruling on Common Core. Decided October of 2015 with a vote of 6-2, the Arizona Board of Education is officially distancing itself from the new standards altogether. While this may seem sudden, the Core has long been under attack by the state since adoption.
After what seems like enough time to put the standards into practice and see some improvement, Arizona decided it was time to begin breaking away from the Core in 2014. The Governor, Jan Brewer, took the first steps by deleting the name, changing it Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards instead. Unfortunately, the parents still sought more change. Because the standards themselves actually remained intact, parents vocally decried that the change was in name alone. It was because of this that such recent drastic measures have been taken.
After a 45 minute meeting discussing the repeal bill that was proposed, the decision was reached that all Common Core standards would be done away with. Their argument rests on the perception that Arizona is a capable enough state to prepare students that are smart enough and engaged enough when compared to the rest of the world.
That being said, the talk didn’t go without its opponents. In fact, many were exhausted of the back and forth, citing that the entire thing is politically driven instead of driven by the needs of the students. This is further underlined by the fact that students have been improving while the Common Core has been in effect. Recent surveys found that teachers saw the Core as a positive.
If that’s the case, why, then, would Arizona decide to remove a program that has been doing what it promised to do?
The truth behind the matter is that the vote was more symbolic than anything. It was done to calm the fears of the parents’ adamant on seeing its repeal. In fact, the current standards will stay in place no matter this publicized vote. To actually drop the standards implemented originally by the Core would require a much more formal process.
Even so, this has done little to dissuade angry calls from parents and educators on both sides of the debate. Yet the biggest concern has been over funding. With finding from the Core providing 8-10% of the total amount spent on each student, educators had to be sure their vote didn’t harm the state’s educational budget.
Going forward, Arizona will now have the ability to amend, replace or delete the current standards left over from the days of the Core. While these changes certainly cannot be made easily, requiring a lot of review and oversight, educators are still asking parents to submit their thoughts on the subject, thoughts that will have an effect on the next decade of Arizona’s educational system.