In a never ending battle in Arizona, education is again taking center stage ahead of the upcoming legislative session in January, where it will surely remain a hot topic. Diane Douglas ran for State Superintendent on a firm platform to end the state’s use of the controversial common core standards, and now it appears that is exactly where AZ is headed along with adopting some new policies which may actually help children.
Yesterday the State Board of Education approved a slew of new education standards as a way to end the use of common core and replace it with some common sense reforms. As part of the reforms students will now be required to learn cursive, a little used but much more formal form of handwriting, in the third grade.
The new requirements for math and language arts or Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards, will take effect in k-12 in the school year beggining in 2018. According to Diane Douglas the new standards are modeled after the Common Core standards, however the Arizona College and Career Ready Standards replace 48% of the Common Core language arts requirements and 40% of the math requirements with new more sensical standards.
According to Diane Douglas:
We now have new standards that have been worked on by Arizona teachers, parents and been vetted by anti-Common Core experts. This is a proud day for Arizona. Has everything changed? No. Should everything have changed? No…I would not accept them (the new standards) if they were lower than federal standards. This is all about improving the rigor and making them better for our children. Making them more understandable for our teachers and parents.
Ammong the changes to the math curriculum, children in the second grade will be required to memorize the sums of any two one-digit numbers and third graders will be required to memorize the multiplication tables up to the number 10.
While the changes are being sold by Douglas as a replacement of Common Core, Douglas did get bi-partisan praise for the effort. Democrat state Senator Martin Quezada stated:
I don’t think we repealed the Common Core. That will be what Superintendent Douglas will sell to the public. What she did do is a responsible approach in looking at it and making revisions where necessary, and those revisions were made.