By Brad McQueen
The Arizona House Education Committee voted 5-2 in favor of HB2190, a bill to repeal and replace the Common Core in Arizona, and now the bill will be released to the full House chamber for consideration.
HB2190 seeks to comprehensively eliminate the Common Core machine from Arizona returning ownership and control over our learning standards, testing, and data to our state and our parents. Representative Mark Finchem of Oro Valley is the bill’s sponsor.
The big monied lobbyists for the education industrial complex aligned against the bill have already begun releasing their flying monkeys across the state to prevent their Common Core cash cow from being removed.
So now is the time to parents, teachers, and citizens who seek to reclaim sovereignty over education to contact their state legislators to ask them to support this bill.
Here are some of the bills major points as I read them:
The Learning Standards
AZ will remove the federal Common Core standards and return to our previous AZ created and owned AZ Education standards. Teachers are familiar with these standards as the Common Core standards have only been fully in place since the 2013/2014 school year. The Common Core removed AZ’s control and ownership of our standards to two private Washington D.C. based groups that own the standard’s copyright.
The AZ Education standards will be certified by our Board of Regents to protect current federal funding we are receiving through a No Child Left Behind waiver (Oklahoma did this successfully).
A new 13 member Standards Steering Committee accountable to the Legislature and containing teacher content experts is created to adopt new standards in cooperation with the State Board of Education by the 2017 school year or earlier. This ensures true accountability to the voters which did not happen when the Common Core was quickly adopted by the State Board in 2010.
Hearings/meetings must be conducted in every congressional district to gather true input on any changes to our learning standards. There were no hearings or meetings when our State Board of Education adopted the Common Core standards.
The final standards must be approved by the Legislature assuring transparency and accountability to voters.
Local school district control over how to teach the new AZ Education standards will be protected.
AZ will return to our previous state test until a new test based on the updated/rewritten AZ Education standards is created and will be implemented a year after the new standards are implemented (no later than 2018).
AZ will own and control the contents of its test and is forbidden from entering into any contract which cedes any control over our tests from our state. The Common Core ceded control of our state test to a state testing consortium.
Districts may supplement the state test with other assessments of their choosing.
Ensures the Protection of Student Data
The protection of student data is very comprehensive and detailed enumerating multiple levels of protection for student and teacher data.
The need for parent permission and notification under any circumstances where personal information may be shared as guaranteed under current education privacy law (FERPA) is emphasized repeatedly.
The collection of behavioral/ non-cognitive data is forbidden.
The sharing of personal student data to companies for commercial purposes is forbidden.
This section of the bill corrects Common Core’s egregious abuse of data privacy laws as Common Core shares personal student data with the federal government and third party private vendors without parent permission or notification.You can read the full copy of HB2190 for yourself here.Contact your House legislator and every other legislator and ask that they support this bill. You can locate your House legislator and every other legislator here.Representative Mark Finchem crafted this comprehensive bill to rid our state of this Common Core beast and return control over education to our state and our parents. Now it is our turn to ensure that this bill reaches the finish line in spite of the efforts of the monied education industrial complex. Our kids are depending on us.
Brad McQueen is a former Common Core insider and current public school teacher in Tucson, Arizona and is the author of the anti-Common Core book “The Cult of Common Core”. Connect with Brad at email@example.com