On Monday, Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction delivered her State of Education address to the House Education Committee. Douglas used the opportunity to perpetuate the myths about the state standards and offered little hope to under-paid teachers.
Douglas brought props with her to bolster her claim that Arizona has removed Common Core from its standards. She dramatically fondled the large books, which apparently contained a compilation of the recent work done to revise the standards, as she spoke.
Contrary to Douglas’s claims, the process to develop the standards and remove the vestiges of Common Core was aborted by Douglas.
After Douglas’s presentations, lawmakers were invited to ask questions. Rep. Jill Norgaard asked what; if anything, would be put in place to guarantee that the state’s currently under-paid teachers would see an increase in wages should money be allocated for such by the Legislature. Douglas stated that she would not support restricting funds for teacher raises. She argued that individual school boards should determine how their funds should be spent.
Norgaard was clearly alluding to the fact that some school districts that received Prop 123 monies, which were intended for teachers’ salaries, diverted the money to administration and operations. The Governor and other proponents of Prop 123 sold it as a source for teacher raises. Despite being warned by education activists that the money would be diverted without tight controls by the state, Ducey left control to the districts.
In December, in an op-ed entitled State Board of Education Ignores Governor, Parents And Own Policy, educators and education activists called on Douglas to honor her pledge to rid Common Core from Arizona schools.
“Ironically, Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas, who promised in 2014 to “stop Common Core,” voted in favor of these ‘revised’ standards, which are in large part the same Common Core standards SBE adopted in 2010,” wrote the group.