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4/22/2014 6:02:00 AM
Arizona superintendent candidate: 'Take back' education, nix Common Core
Diane Douglas spoke to the Kingman Republican Men's Club Monday. (KIM STEELE/Miner)
Diane Douglas spoke to the Kingman Republican Men's Club Monday. (KIM STEELE/Miner)

Kim Steele
Miner Staff Reporter

KINGMAN - The title on the introductory PowerPoint slide in Diane Douglas' presentation about Common Core said it all.

Douglas spoke Monday before the Kingman Republican Men's Club on what she called "The Unconstitutional Federal Takeover of Local Education."

She was scheduled to join John Huppenthal, state Superintendent of Public Instruction, as the two candidates for the office squared off over the controversial program.

Huppenthal, who had committed to attending the meeting, unexpectedly cancelled Friday afternoon, citing a family emergency.

A call to his Phoenix office Monday was not returned. Huppenthal, the incumbent since 2011, supports Common Core, which the state renamed Arizona's College and Career Ready Standards in September to avoid negative publicity.

"My vision for Arizona is to stop Common Core here," said Douglas, a member of the Peoria Unified School District governing board from 2005 to 2012.

"We need to get our schools back to a knowledge-rich curriculum. We want our children to be content masters. My goal is to take back education for the children and parents in Arizona."

When asked how she would accomplish that if she were elected, Douglas said she wished she'd get a magic wand that could erase the situation when she took office.

Instead, said Douglas, it will take hard work to convince voters, as well as electing a governor opposed to Common Core who will appoint likeminded members to the state Board of Education.

Common Core is a national educational system that was implemented last year in Arizona. Its standards were created by a consortium of teachers, business leaders and education experts from 46 states, including Arizona, to toughen up standards for math, English and writing from kindergarten through 12th grade.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew


“I don't take kindly to those who wish to flaunt their MBA etc. in my face!”

I would like to know how many times anyone with a MBA (or other university level degree) has flaunted their education in your face?

I also did the GED thing, having been tossed out of West Phoenix High School two months before graduation (yeah I was jerk even then). But unlike you – and that was your choice – I did go to university and achieved two degrees. I have never “flaunted” them to anyone, but am proud of my accomplishment.

I feel Common Core is vital to our nation in preparing our young people not only for higher education, but to enter the job market at levels beyond the service industry (although, like all work, the service industry is an important and necessary part of our nation). A set of educational standards uniform across the nation can, in no way, be considered as a bad thing. When I was in high school I was in the College Prep curriculum because those classes were important in preparing me for university.

The “keep ‘em stupid” meme will only negatively impact our future.

Posted: Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Article comment by: Marla Kiriakidis

How many of you that are complaining have kids currently in school? My youngest is in 10th grade. If you don't have a dog in this fight, butt out.

Posted: Monday, April 28, 2014
Article comment by: Amaryllis Smith

I graduated high school with a GED due to hospitalized first semester of senior year.
Mr. Cobb, then vice principal of MUHS Kingman told me afterward all my scores were extremely high except for math(which frankly I failed that sem.) and passed by skin of my teeth on GED. He told me I should feel very proud because even though I had been very mobile in my years, I had experienced culture diversity and had already received great life learning which helped me to achieve the high scores.

I don't take kindly to those who wish to flaunt their MBA etc. in my face! Had I gone to college, it would have been for law degree and I would've done a lot of pro-bono.

Posted: Monday, April 28, 2014
Article comment by: Amaryllis Smith

V Stokes, I answered and apologize and yes it was typo error.
I still support him. I don't have college degree but, many college hours of Administration of Justice and few others. I basically was stay at home mother but worked in the Glendale Union School Dist. personnel office around all those MBA ED whatever people, could tell some stories there (it was Glendale, Az.).
I've been blessed to have been in British Columbia including Victoria and Alberta Canada as well as hostage in Havana, Cuba, Panama City, Mexico City, Lima, Peru and lived in Tacna, Peru two years, the latter five all by 12 yrs. I believe Life Learning is as valuable as college is to others.

The fact is our county is deep trouble!!
I totally agree with a quote from Sarah Palin at NRA convention, "We don't need Fundamental Transformation (OBs declaration), What we do need is Fundamental Restoration"!
I don't worry for myself but, I'm deeply concerned for my children/grandchildren and those of others.

Programs and policies implemented past 5 yrs., and "Progressive" liberal left are progressively implementing the ONE WORLD ORDER, we're closer than ever!

Posted: Saturday, April 26, 2014
Article comment by: Gisela Potokar

Everyday as I wander the web, come up with more horrifying stories about our kids in schools. Two students at the U of Hawaii were told NOT to pass out copies of the Constitution, since the college is not a "free speech zone".............ehr, is it against the "law" now to ban knowledge of our laws of the land? Seems they are no longer taught in school.
A 5th grader told me that school is boring, because the teacher only concentrated on math and reading! NO science, no geography, no civics! Certainly NO mention of God is permitted! Or, any mention of guns will get the kids in big trouble!
How come I see statistics that now 1 in 13 kids is autistic? How did this happen? Is it easier to put a kid on "drugs" than to deal with a spirited kid?
Since Madeline O'Hare, the atheist, had any mention of God taken out of our schools, it seems this country has gone down hill! True morality and respect for others and their property is not encouraged these days.
God help us!

Posted: Saturday, April 26, 2014
Article comment by: V Stokes

Did you even read my post? I basically said exactly what you stated. Not all kids want to go to college. The standards will evaluate their proficiency in math, reading, writing, etc, so that they are least prepared for a trade or job in the real world. For those who get no parental support, mentoring, or are just lazy...there is always a need for manual labor, if they want to settle for that.

Do you ever get annoyed, when you buy something and the person keyed in the wrong numbers, but doesn't even see an issue with giving you $18.35 change out of $2 on a $1.65 purchase? Why? Because they have no ingrained math skills.

I'd love to see most sixth graders do a timed multiplication worksheet like I did back in the day.

Glad your daughter is enjoying her career. Did she get all her math in HS, or did she need additional courses? If all kids knew algebra, geometry, and chemistry when they graduated HS, they would be able to put more time into their special studies in their field.

I didn't go to college out of HS, but took many college courses that interested me later. Degree, no...knowledge yes.

"That doesn't mean they should know their reading, writing and arithmetic coming out of high school."

I don't know whether you mis-typed or actually meant this?

Posted: Friday, April 25, 2014
Article comment by: Amaryllis Smith

Do you realize we have kids graduated now who don't have the common sense to answer a business call? I just talked to a lady today at Basha's due to a call I placed there yesterday, I was greeted with "HELLO", I knew I had the right number but had to ask.
No matter what anyone says, NOT all students want to go to college! That doesn't mean they should know their reading, writing and arithmetic coming out of high school.
AND YES, Schools 9-12 have religions of the World, Again as before, trickled down into those grades from the college level "Religions of The World".
There is also over the top Testing run amuck causing a great degree of anxiety for students, all the latter brought about my "Common Core".

My daughter has her BSA and is working on Masters as well, she loves nursing, needed A Lot of Math. My son NEVER has wanted to go to college, has great longevity with UPS and is just as happy as my daughter!!!
Learning, job longevity, character (dependability, honesty, team player, common sense and social skills), these you don't get all from college only.
Colleges today are Extreme Liberal places I'd just as soon to see my grandchildren stay away from.
21 yr. old grandchildren, one taking extensive classes, other doing very well, doesn't want college degree!

Posted: Friday, April 25, 2014
Article comment by: V Stokes

"Not Every child needs to go to college by the way!"

"...consistent education standards across the states as well as ensure that students graduating from high school are prepared to enter credit-bearing courses at two- or four-year college programs or enter the workforce."

Read the last part of that sentence "or enter the workforce". Businesses and trades don't want someone who can barely read a newspaper and understand it, let alone a technical document or specifications. They don't want people whose math skills are so poor, they can't take 2 measurements with a tape measure and add them together or not be able to get a total amount of stock by counting 12 cases of 24 and adding the number on the shelves.

Ask any person in a professional trade and most will tell you they use math and reading skills every day. If a person has to be taught those things in a trade or tech school, then they aren't busy learning the actual job skills.

Posted: Friday, April 25, 2014
Article comment by: Arizona Brat


You might be wishing you had a horse, a cow and knew how to build an outhouse in the not so far future. Put your credentials away for a bit and return to common sense not common core.
Common Core is not the answer to education problems

Please explain why after millions and millions thrown to education, Education itself is still such a mess and full of failure and those like yourself believe only Common Core and More Money will fix it? It won't and isn't!

Posted: Friday, April 25, 2014
Article comment by: Amaryllis Smith

Now, if you want to pay attention to what Bill Gates has to say a(and only him) then I would submit to you, YOU are the one out of touch with reality!!

By the way, WHAT are your credentials??
Common Core is driving teachers crazy and It Is detrimental to the well being and mental health of our children, especially those as the 4th I referred to!
Not Every child needs to go to college by the way!
What we do need is MORE specific trade schools for those who don't want to go to college for further indoctrination!
Common Core is this current admin.'s program to indoctrinate from K-12, I don't find this American in the least and education SHOULD be decided on STATE level!
It Was Pushed Onto the states by use of bribery by the Fed. Ed. Dept.!!!!!!!!!

Posted: Friday, April 25, 2014
Article comment by: @ Miley Cyrus Malcontent More questions teacher

Oh, OK Thanks - So, in what part of Arizona is Sarasota Springs, New York located? and which Arizona K-12 students are "at risk" of attending? Time to get the story line straight.

How are the Feds, John Dewey (dead since 1952) or Bill Gates causing the "indoctrination" of Arizona children, or more specifically, Mohave County children through a post-secondary sociology summer class at a New York college?

Posted: Friday, April 25, 2014
Article comment by: Elementary Teacher

@ill conceived

No Child Left Behind may be over, however, testing has more than doubled under Race to the Top/Common Core. A percentage of the teacher evaluations is directly tied to the students' AIMS/PARC test scores. If that doesn't incentivize "teaching to the test", nothing does.

Instead of money being taken from poor performing districts, (NCLB), a sum of money allocated for k-12 education in the state budget will be set aside and given to the highest performing districts. (Same effect, just accounted for differently).

Any Federal involvement in local education, regardless of which party is in charge), is a bad thing.

Posted: Thursday, April 24, 2014
Article comment by: Here 'tis Ms Let's get the class info

Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York as reported by ABC on March 27, 2014. Hardly a conservative outlet.

You can get the info yourself if you're interested in the class.

Posted: Thursday, April 24, 2014
Article comment by: Ill-conceived and Misinterpreted (deliberately)

The days of Bush’s ill-conceived version of No Child Left Behind are (FINALLY) over. FYI Gisela: That’s the one that “taught to the test”, not the other way around as you are indicating. It is up to the parents of K-12 school-aged children to open their minds, and their eyes to the reality that if our (Mohave County) children do not step up to the academic standards that are required at the college level (that includes community college, by the way) we will continue to be the backwards-thinking, unemployable nest of underlings that the rest of the state laughs at. Get with the program the future is here and now, not 100 years ago when all you needed to get by was a horse, a cow and an outhouse!
Amaryillis – Here’s a question that you are representing to answer: Name five sets of “parents across the country (that) are livid when they realize what assignments and studies kids are being burdened with.” I did not get the memo that requested parents across the country to report their opinions about education directly to you. What are your credentials, by the way?

MBA, MA,Ed. (pre Bill Gates, by the way)

Posted: Thursday, April 24, 2014
Article comment by: Moderately Independent

Apparently there will never be an end to the amount of mis-information and outright lies that will be posted by some be it. I'm sure many of us know what these individuals use as their "sources" and take it all with a grain of salt and at times even get a good laugh from it, especially when one spreads the manure and then another swears by it!

As for the constant complaining about what is written in the textbooks I've said it before and I'll say it again...take your complaints to the State of Texas Board of Education. Due to the fact that Texas is a huge buyer of textbooks this board has an enormous amount of influence in what the publishers of textbooks print and make available to all school districts...even to the point of rewritng history and leaving important events in history out completely.

BTW, anybody hazard a guess which political party makes up the majority (if not all) of the Texas State Board of Education members?

As far as Common Core is concerned I still haven't heard any valid reasons from anybody as to why American children should not be afforded every possible learning advantage so they may become the best they can be and compete in a global job marketplace.

Posted: Thursday, April 24, 2014
Article comment by: Amaryllis Smith

Thank you Gisela, and also for further info you provided which is true and absolutely unacceptable.
I thank God I don't have a child in grade school or high school these days but, do have grandchildren.
With Common Core it is in Charter and other schools.
I don't understand why it would be such an issue to get rid of it, only takes standing up for states rights and not being blackmailed by Fed. level Dept. of Ed..
Other states have opted out of it and hopefully Arizona will follow suit!

Posted: Thursday, April 24, 2014
Article comment by: V Stokes

Ms Smith...
You should have done a bit of research. Your blurb about the 4th grade test/homework is apparently not close to what actually occurred. Unless of course you found it on some anti-education loon site, in which case it NEVER happened.

The actual facts are that a Texas 4th grade teacher brought some sort of HS test question into class and may have somehow used it as a reading assignment. I find even that a bit unbelievable personally.

The image is from an El Paso TV station (Fox...surprise). They did list in the story a site it may have come from, and I found a story from Gilbert AZ with much the same circumstances.

It had nothing to do with Mommy crying, just with the fact that Mommy found a hairclip under her bed that wasn't her's or her daughters and was concerned where it came from. No mention of crying or adultery. Just the suspicions in her mind.

It has since been removed by the person who owns the website as too mature for younger children and he had no way to prevent its use, except to remove it. It was still nothing more than a suggested example of learning to make inferences from the reading.

It will still be up to the teachers and school staff to determine teaching aids.
I guess these 2 teachers weren't very smart?

Posted: Thursday, April 24, 2014
Article comment by: Let's Get the Class Info @ Amaryllis and Gisela

I am interested in attending the Miley Cyrus class offering that you cite, could you please state which college, what the curriculum consists of, the associated costs (books and materials) and how many credit hours are applied for the successful completion of this class?
If this is a true statement, you can back up your facts. Post it now.

Posted: Thursday, April 24, 2014
Article comment by: Gisela Potokar

Good letter, Amaryllis. If people would take the time and check on the web, they will realize that Bill Gates, and others, are behind these standards, no real teachers were involved in writing them. It's not to "educate", but to "indoctrinate" our children. This goes back to the Progressive movement of several decades ago........not just now!

Oh, by 4th through 6th grade, they want to show all "real people in the buff", and teach also the "alternative life styles"..............this all just makes me sick!

Have talked with teachers that quit, they got tired of "teaching to the test" only.
Now colleges are offering a summer course on Miley Cyrus, just what a student needs to succeed in life!

Posted: Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Article comment by: Amaryllis Smith

Common Core is the worst curriculum program to ever happen! Kids ARE NOT being taught what they need at the grade level they are in!
I wrote about the World History book being used in the KAOL system.
And yes, Religions of the World is a college level class that because of common core has been trickled down into the high school level and that is Fact.
Problem with this is these students aren't getting the facts on the religious arena!!!!
Like the Spanish Inquisition was not Christians but, was the Catholic Church with backing from Rome and tried to make Jews convert to Catholicism.

Parents across the country are livid when they realize what assignments and studies kids are being burdened with.

The plan for college or career readiness is totally wrong through common core.
4th graders given critical thinking assignments,
having to read about a family, the little girl finds mom crying due to dad committed adultery and the student has to write a WHATEVER as to what the mom should do??

Really, a 4th grader is expected to deal with an Adult situation and this is going to help her/him be college ready someday, Unless 4th graders are so filled with anxiety they can't even make it out of high school due to common core trauma!!!

Posted: Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Article comment by: Magic Wand?

"When asked how she would accomplish that if she were elected, Douglas said she wished she'd get a magic wand that could erase the situation when she took office. "

That's exactly the problem with the modern GOP on almost any issue. All they know is that they want to tear down whatever's in place now, but they don't have the foggiest idea what they'd replace it with.

Posted: Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Article comment by: So Sad is Right

If the future of education in Mohave County is what is pictured in this article, then we need not worry about building new schools, just build coffins, that's all they'll need!

Posted: Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Article comment by: T C

So, if Common Core was created by teachers and administrators from 46 states, including Arizona, how is it a "...federal take over of local education"?

Using the buzzword "unconstitutional", lets us know this candidate subscribes to the hysterical tea party meme.

I've spent a 25 year career dealing with students coming out of the secondary education system in places as diverse as rural South Carolina (where the local high school was 90% African American and poor), to urban Southern California (which was highly ethnically and economically diverse), to Kingman, Arizona. And while learning assessment is one of my areas of expertise, I'm not convinced that the testing regimes, that began with George Bush and continue on in the Obama administration, do very much to improve either student learning or the effectiveness of teachers.

As a student of W. Edwards Deming, who believed that the failure of organizational systems to achieve their objectives was related less to the people who inhabited it than to the structure in which they work. In secondary education this points to a structure that allows out of field teaching and enormous amounts of time completing lesson plans to satisfy administrators, a system that almost demands "teaching to the test".

Posted: Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Article comment by: So Sad

As usual, a small contingent of uneducated nay-sayers, all beyond the cusp of understanding, spouting off about something that they do not comprehend and presented in a completely biased perspective. How sad that this group of octogenarians, the same crowd that is anti-education to begin with, end up being the constituency that makes the decisions at the polls about the future of our children. They have no "skin in the game", I have heard it with my own ears, these folks have no regard for education, the reasons to have one or why it is increasingly important to uniform the criteria for outcomes. They are anti-everything that has to do with decisive parameters for excellence. I have seen this ridiculous dog and pony show, it is nonsense. Good Luck Kingman, our illustrious county seat, you will never emerge from the cave as long as these people are allowed to decide the future. It is no wonder why our kids flee town as soon as they have the legal right to escape.

Posted: Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Article comment by: Kingman Voter

Sure, let`s do away with Common Core, we want our kids to be dumb as mud. Is this the new Republican plan for grooming future voters?

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