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2/25/2014 6:02:00 AM
Arizona leaders decry efforts against Common Core standards
Glenn Hamer, president and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, holds up a copy of Arizona’s plan for implementing the Common Core State standards at a news conference Thursday. Explaining their opposition to GOP bills that would roll back or forbid the standards in Arizona, Hamer and other business leaders said the standards will help the state create a competitive workforce. (MORIAH COSTA/Cronkite)
Glenn Hamer, president and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, holds up a copy of Arizona’s plan for implementing the Common Core State standards at a news conference Thursday. Explaining their opposition to GOP bills that would roll back or forbid the standards in Arizona, Hamer and other business leaders said the standards will help the state create a competitive workforce. (MORIAH COSTA/Cronkite)
By Moriah Costa
Cronkite News

PHOENIX - Several GOP bills to roll back or forbid Arizona's switch to the Common Core State Standards would harm efforts to create a more competitive workforce, business leaders said recently.

"We believe that it would be wrong to deny Arizona students the education they need to succeed in the 21st century," Glenn Hamer, president and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said at a news conference outside the Capitol.

Four of the bills won party-line endorsements Thursday from the Senate Education Committee. They included SB 1310, authored by Sen. Al Melvin, R-Tucson, which would prohibit the state from implementing any Common Core standards.

The other bills were:

• SB 1388, authored by Sen. Kelli Ward, R-Lake Havasu City, which would allow school districts and charter school governing boards to establish their own assessments of student performance;

• SB 1395, authored by Sen. Judy Burges, R-Sun City West, which would allow school districts and charter school governing boards to opt out of competency requirements; and

• SB 1396, authored by Sen. David Farnsworth, R- Mesa, which would require school districts and charter school governing boards to adopt the minimum standard established by the Arizona State Board of Education.

Sen. Kimberly Yee, R-Phoenix, the committee's chairwoman, said she believes that assessment standards should be controlled locally because educational needs vary among states.

"The state of Arizona is very uniquely different from the state next door to us, and so when we have this sort of universal code it is a little bit scary, quite frankly," she said.

Sen. Leah Landrum Taylor, D-Phoenix, who voted against the bills, questioned the level of accountability and competency school districts and charter schools would have.

"I'm just not sure if the districts and the charters could really have that expertise that moving forward, to be able to develop these standards," she said.

At the news conference, Todd Sanders, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, said businesses represented by his organization have trouble finding qualified workers.

"We are going to need a world-class educational system to compete regionally and globally," he said.

Thomas Franz, president and CEO of Greater Phoenix Leadership, said he saw firsthand during his time as an executive with Intel Corp. how economic growth depends on a good education system.

The standards Arizona has developed to implement Common Core requirements support that, he said.

"The Arizona College and Career Ready Standards are more rigorous than Arizona's old standards, and the notion that they restrict or limit students' learning is a willful misreading of them," Franz said.

Hamer said his organization intends to make sure the bills don't reach the governor's office.

"We believe for Arizona to be successful we need to have the highest possible education standards," he said.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Saturday, March 22, 2014
Article comment by: Another Thought

"Their ungodly strangleholds need to be broken"

Exactly what does God, school, and Unions have to do with any of this? Utah is just down the road if anything and everything you talk about requires it. Have a nice trip.


Posted: Thursday, March 6, 2014
Article comment by: Moderately Independent

Good News!!!!

Another stupid bill has been defeated today, March 6, 2014!

Melvin's SB 1310 goes down.


Posted: Saturday, March 1, 2014
Article comment by: Amaryllis Smith

You people can keep your blinders on till you this world but, Common Core is and has been intended to indoctrinate the kids from early grade school on. Not only did Hitler get control over the people by health care being controlled, he also used the schools.

American children need to be taught American History and patriotism like they used to be along with reading and writing as well as World History and rather than glamorizing Islam, they need to know things such as who Margaret Thatcher was.
There are honestly young people out of high school who think Obamacare and ACA are different programs and when ask which they would choose they pick one over the and then continue to give a reason why they chose the one but not the other.
Unless you are a parent who is paying close att. to what is in your kids' school books & papers and teaching them yourself as well as what the school is , YOUR CHILDREN ARE HIGH RISK!

As for everyone's need for college degree to survive, Just not true!
Encouragement and establishment of more trade schools is needed!!!
In Miami right now building is picked up and thousands of construction skilled slots open but due to lack of skilled workers( That don't need college degree) the building process is running behind schedule.


Posted: Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Article comment by: Ellen Kelley

Everyone, most of all parents, need to lean about Common Core, it is very scary on what our children will be learning. This basically started overseas, Asian countries, and the u.n., small letters on purpose, is wanting to get involved in OUR children's leaning, among other things that involve our rights, freedom etc. We will all leave it up to you to decide.

Posted: Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Article comment by: mr. parker

When I was in HS in NY, we had state Regents exams. These were useful in determining not only how well students were doing but also how well schools were doing. A way to compare all schools within the state.

I don't see anything wrong with these bills.


@ER:Agree with you about testing. Today's schools seem to be more concerned about political correctness and zero tolerance.
Politically Correct= Intellectually Corrupt

@RWNA: Those are some of the reasons I came to AZ,I love riding and shooting and would gladly kill a commie. I also bring 2 engineering and a professional degree with me.


Posted: Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Article comment by: Jim Harper

You notice how easily all these free-market advocates switch to command and control economics when it suits their purpose?

No parent in his right mind would send his child to a private core curriculum school. Nor a charter school with that curriculum either. Yet, the unwashed are supposed to hop to.

Arizona's charter schools prove that Montessori works at a price the legislature is willing to pay. Even taking into account the grifter schools that call themselves Montessori but really aren't the results are impressive.

I'm biased, but I'm thinking Maria Montessori knows more about early childhood education than even Jan Brewer.


Posted: Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Article comment by: Fed up

Hey, if it doesn't work, introduce another bogus Sentate Bill. We don't have enough of those, do we?

Posted: Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Article comment by: Linda Athens

Down with Common Core! It's a monster in every way, ultimately will have the United Natioins involved. Dear God, can we do anything right anymore?

Good for Kelli Ward.

And we need two other things dumped. The far left wing Chamber of Commerce and the Teacher's Unions. No time here, but the teacher's unions do more harm to our children then anything else.

Their ungodly strangleholds need to be broken


Posted: Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Article comment by: Trained Observer

To see what kind of educational standards are in place, just read the letters to the editor now and then. People here cannot spell even with the help of spell check. Time to reinforce basics like math and reading while ramping up science. And yes Ward can go back to her own special world.

Posted: Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Article comment by: Keith Blighton's rides again!

@Right Wing Nut Airizonian, aka Keith Blighton: (Correct spelling of the word is "Arizonan"

You said "Dherrr… We don't need no stinking Common Core competency standards. We can ride and shoot and round up all them commies and their smarty pants kids."

Yep! Keith is riding his valiant mule "Clueless" rounding up all those right-wingers to save America from their pathetic agenda of liberty, freedom, opportunity and limited government!

"Dem whipper-snappers! I'll round them up and put them into the detention camps to keep them from bothering the good little minions being dumbed down by a so-called educations system that should be teaching "Heather has two Mommies" and help children understand how they feel about 1+1 equaling 3, or how these 5 year old children can “build consensus” for their answers? (Look up the standards, it’s there)

Oh wait! What's that you say, Keith? Forget that? You just sit on your porch and watch everyone else get into the fight? Yes, sitting back and criticizing those actually risking their reputations to do something about the problems they see, what you do? I guess it’s much easier to criticize then help find solutions.


Posted: Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

“SB 1388, authored by Sen. Kelli Ward, R-Lake Havasu City,”

You have to admit, Ms Ward is always good for a laugh. Too bad she is actually a state senator – oh, wait, I forgot, just plays at being a senator on Facebook.


Posted: Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Article comment by: Dennis Jablonski

Folks evaluating themselves seems like an invitation to : 'conflict of interest'.

Posted: Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Article comment by: Ed Roggenstein

Until students are allowed to learn and teachers are allowed to teach you will always have these issues. The children of today are restricted in their ability to learn because higher authorities that "Know" better aren't allowing teachers to TEACH. Everything being dumped on kids today are about passing tests. There is very little free thinking allowed to todays children and this will hurt them in the long run. You have to have that wild card in knowledge in order to go forward. Teaching people to pass tests is not giving them the knowledge to be successful in any sort of educational or business situation. If you can't think on your own two feet and have not been given the opportunity to think outside the box, you're not going anywhere.

Posted: Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Article comment by: Right Wing Nut Airizonian

Dherrr… We don't need no stinking Common Core competency standards. We can ride and shoot and round up all them commies and their smarty pants kids.

Posted: Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Article comment by: Send Kelli Back to Kelli Ward's World

Yep, our very own Kelli Ward. Now let me understand student evaluation in the Kelli Ward world. Let's say Joey age 10 went to a school which believed that all it's children are worthy of 100% on their own scale for reading, math, and science. Joey's family moves to Kingman and poor Joey is struggling in math at Manzanita. The parents and even Joey know that he is a 100 percenter because the school in Kelli Ward's world said so.

Standardized tests are necessary to fairly evaluate individual performance and knowledge so as to develop programs that will help a student improve.


Posted: Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Article comment by: THE TEA PARTY IS ON KOCH

Kind of like ALL party politics in Arizona.

You have got to follow the MONEY to see who is getting messed with and who is making out.




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