AZ Senate temporarily spares Common Core to kill Ward bill

The Arizona Senate voted to keep Common Core alive in Arizona today in a 19-10 vote. The Senate killed SB1458, which would have allowed schools to develop their own academic standards.

The bill was very flawed, and paled in comparison to a bill that was passed last week by the House Education Committee which called for a repeal and replace of the current Common Core standards.

Sen. Kelli Ward, R-Lake Havasu City, who sponsored SB1458 dubbed it the “keep it local bill.” However, education advocates tried to urge legislators to recognize that “keeping it local” means having state standards, not individual standards across the state or those imposed by the federal government.

Ward’s education bills have largely been criticized for their inconsistency. On one hand, she claims to want hyper-local control, but she is pushing legislation that will completely hand over control of the Board of Education to the Governor and strip it from the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

The erratic nature of her education efforts have mirrored those of Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas, who has vacillated on a daily basis on educational policies.

Ward’s bill would have created chaos across the state. Instead of reforming the methods used for standards adoption by the SBE, Ward’s bill would have eliminated the State Board of Education authority to adopt and prescribe certain K-12 educational functions by requiring each district board and each charter school governing body to adopt academic standards that meet or exceed the standards adopted by the SBE during or after the 1998-1999 school year.

Rarely are senators Worsley, Driggs, Carter, Pierce, and Dial on the right side of a bill, but even a broken clock is right twice a day.

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