The Arizona House passed HB2190 on Wednesday, which repeals and replaces the Common Core standards in the state of Arizona. The legislation, sponsored by Representative Mark Finchem, now moves to the Senate for consideration.
The bill passed easily despite the efforts of Rep. Heather Carter to gut the legislation with an amendment that would render meaningless the bill’s intent to create higher Arizona standards, rather than the current federal standards enshrined in Common Core.
Carter, who makes her living off of training teachers, defended the federal program she has promoted over the years at the same time she insulted teachers. Carter claimed that it takes years train teachers on the standards and as a result, new standards would create chaos. Carter also claimed that the program was too big to fail because districts had already spent too much money on teaching materials.
School teachers Rep. Chris Ackerly and Rep. Paul Boyer spoke passionately against the federal standards. Both spoke with pride in educators and confidence in their ability to make the necessary adjustments to the news standards. Ackerly concluded, “It is time for Arizona to back away from Common Core.”
On Tuesday, Ackerly’s HB2246, which allows parents to opt-out their children from the high stakes Common Core testing, passed out of the House as well.
With opposition to Common Core growing on both sides of the political spectrum, House Democrats were largely silent on the matter. However, Rep. Bruce Wheeler (D-Tucson), who is rumored to be eyeing a congressional seat, stated that China has Common Core standards and while “I don’t want to compete with them – or adopt their standards – I vote yes for the international community.” Wheeler then corrected himself and said that he meant to vote “no.”
Rep. Jay Lawrence, who had introduced his own anti-Common Core bill, but pulled it in favor of Finchem’s said after the vote, “As the Vice President whispered in the presidents ear after they learned that Obamacare had passed the supreme court: ‘this is a big deal.'”
Prior to the vote Finchem told supporters, “Today, crony capitalism goes on trial for the public to see and we begin to talk about the future of a robust public education system that makes Arizona the education state.”
Brad McQueen, an Arizona teacher and author of the popular book The Cult of Common Core, said after the vote, “I’ve been getting messages from around the country. This was a huge win for the anti-Common Core grassroots movement in Arizona and across the country as we are all are fighting the same Common Core beast that has been inflicted upon all of us.”
“The fight is on though,” warned McQueen. “The Common Core beast is summoning up all of its flying monkeys for battle, so expect to be inundated with pro-Common Core ads, opinion pieces, and news stories from all sorts of well financed acronymed front groups in an attempt to crush this grassroots victory before it reaches the finish line here in Arizona.”