By Rep. Mark Finchem
While HB 2190 has been making its way through a deliberative member review process, Arizona legislators have been learning more and more about this “too big to fail” enterprise package. We have worked very hard to make sure members of the House understand what the bill is designed to do, what it contains and what it means to the future of public education in Arizona. I question the narrative that Arizona schools are failing; and I am asking the tough question, is this a straw-man case designed to usher in crony capitalism on a massive scale?
Dwight David Eisenhower warned us in his 1960 speech to, “beware of the military industrial complex”. The same should be said of the educational industrial complex and the house of cards that is Common Core.
Two prior legislatures, two prior superintendents of public instruction and a governor were promised world class educational standards that would enhance and accelerate learning, and a program that would solve the education dilemma. It appears they were duped; they were promised one thing but received another. “Bait and switch” is fraud, and had Common Core been strictly in the private sector, law suits would be flying over the fraudulent misrepresentation of the deliverables.
The process of adopting Common Core, or College and Career Ready Standards as it is known in Arizona, has been a bit like ordering a very expensive muscle car from an automobile dealership, only to find out that what has been delivered is a glitzy body, with no engine and no drive train.
On January 24th of this year the Washington State Central Democrat Committed passed a resolution calling on the Washington Legislature and the Superintendent of Public Instruction to, “withdraw from CCSS and keep K-12 education student-centered and accountable to the people of Washington State”, in essence demanding that Washington exit Common Core in favor of the State’s right to local control.
At about the same time the Arizona Legislature’s House Education Committee was holding its public hearing, two more state legislatures voted to exit from the program and reassert local (State) control over their education standards. It seems they too were not convinced that their public education systems were not failing, and needed to remain under local control.
On February 23rd the Montana House of Representatives voted 55-45 to void the Common Core State Standards and establish an accreditation standards review council that would return local control to standards development and improvement.
On February 28th, West Virginia’s House of Representatives voted 75 to 19 to repeal Common Core State Standards and return to State developed education standards that can undergo continuous advancement.
One of the early clues that all was not well with Common Core came when Dr. Sandra Stotsky, a professor of education at the University of Arkansas and Dr. James Milgram a mathematics professor at Stanford University refused to sign off on the claim that Common Core was a set of standards that was “internationally benchmarked” . Despite their clarion call to the contrary, the puppet-masters continued to make the claim. The inference made by “internationally benchmarked standards” is that the standards we had were the problem.
In addition to the Constitutional insults and violations of Federal statutes that come with Common Core, we now find we are forced to use a copyrighted product that does not allow for a collaborative amendment process. What does that mean? For example, the Navajo Nation cannot adopt additional standards that reflect their cultural values, a local school system in southern Arizona that wants to amend math standards to an age appropriate level cannot or they would violate the copyright.
While some organizations are focused on representing public schools, the real focus must be on representing the best interests of the children and consequently public education. We find support for the case to repeal and replace Common Core in Arizona from teachers (not teacher unions), who most likely know best the effects of poorly written standards, critical theory pedagogy, social engineering through education (indoctrination) and testing fatigue.
The Badass Teachers Association is blowing the whistle on the insidious plan to slice and dice education into one size fits all, computer language like program to create a generation of fully indoctrinated “worker bees”. The BTA isn’t constrained by crony capitalists who are behind Common Core. Not only was it “created to give voice to every teacher who refuses to be blamed for the failure of our society to erase poverty and inequality through education”, but it refuses to “accept assessments, tests and evaluations created and imposed by corporate driven entities that have contempt for authentic teaching and learning.”
It is clear that Republicans and Democrats alike across the nation wish to preserve the republican form of government that has been the hallmark of our long history of innovation, creativity and success. Will Democrats in Arizona join us in taking back control of our educational system? The vote will come soon
To learn more about to concerns around crony capitalism visit, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d97eYjZUQic&t=130