State Capitol News
8:27 am
Thu March 6, 2014

Legislation Doing Away with the Common Core Killed in State Senate

The state’s education standards will remain as is for now. Arizona Public Radio’s Howard Fischer explains.

Senate President Andy Biggs
Senate President Andy Biggs
Credit azcapitoltimes.com

The legislation crafted by senator and gubernatorial candidate Al Melvin would forbid schools from Implementing the Common Core standards the state adopted just four years earlier. The standards were approved by the National Governors Association as a way of ensuring that students are learning what they need at all grade levels to be ready to either work or go on to college when they graduate. But, Senate President Andy Biggs said that, for all the hoopla over Common Core when it was first proposed, some doubts are being raised, and the standards deserve a second look by the Legislature.

“The standards themselves were developed by an elite group of progressive education experts, and not necessarily from parents, K-12 educators or ordinary citizens. That was minimal. And that is one of the reasons that some of those organizations are now questioning their support,” Biggs said.

Business groups warned that scrapping the standards might leave Arizona high school grads unemployable. That was enough to convince five Senate Republicans to side with Democrats to kill the legislation. The measure likely was ultimately doomed no matter what the Senate did. Gov. Jan Brewer, who supported the standards, said through aides she would not sign any legislation that diluted them.