Arizona: AIMS Failed And So Will PARCC and Common Core

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Benjamin Franklin said, “Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom.” I think that we can all agree that education is paramount to a successful society and that it would behoove us to create a system that promotes and accelerates. However, how do we ensure that our children are best educated?

There is a new program on the block that is getting snapped up by schools around the country called the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI). In Arizona the AIMS test has been struck out and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) has taken its place which uses the CCSSI platform. As of right now the teachers have been getting trained of how to teach a CCSSI based classroom. Next Governor Brewer must sign AZ HB2047 to allow the PARCC test be the new standardized test for Arizona. The third phase is for the PARCC test scores to be shared with the federal and other state governments to continue to standardize the test. AZ HB2563 requires the AZ State Board to enforce the PARCC testing. Neither HB2047 or HB2563 have been signed into law but Governor Brewer’s aide Matthew Benson stated, “At the heart of Common Core is the notion of implementing more stringent internationally benchmarked standards. She is 100 percent supportive of the concept.”

If we can encourage our politicians to vote NAY on HB2047 and HB2563, we’ve effectively stopped the Phase II of the implementation of the Common Core.

Debra Goodwin here at TAC has written a good overview of CCSSI and why it is bad in her article called Common Core: An Attack on Freedom and What to Do About it. Columnist Michelle Malkin wrote, “For decades, collectivist agitators in our schools have chipped away at academic excellence in the name of fairness, diversity and social justice. Progressive reformers denounced Western civilization requirements, the Founding Fathers and the Great Books as racist. They attacked traditional grammar classes as irrelevant in modern life. They deemed ability grouping of students (tracking) bad for self-esteem. They replaced time-tested rote techniques and standard algorithms with fuzzy math, inventive spelling and multi-cultural claptrap.”

Think about it, if 46 of 50 states have joined together as Arizona’s Department of Education states to create a standard and the CCSI states that “no state would lower its standards“… then one must ask how the CCSI program plans to have schools with lower scores catch up to schools with higher scores since the bar cannot be dropped. Isn’t this the very reason that AIMS failed – because they couldn’t create a test that was fair or standardized enough? The fact is, if we can’t even do this in Arizona then how can we purport that we can do it on a national level. Let’s call this what it is -impossible and an impending bureaucratic disaster.

Action Items:
(1) Call your legislator and have them oppose HB2047 and HB2563
(2) Call Governor Brewer and urge her to not sign HB2047 and HB2563
(3) Visit the Arizonans Against Common Core website
(4) Urge Governor brewer to sign HB2318 to at least allow charter schools to be exempt from any CCSSI movements
(5) Urge your legislator to support SB1450 that protects your privacy (i.e. test scores) under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

Kyle Huwer was originally born in Ohio and moved to sunny Arizona in 2001. He served a small stint in the U.S. Army and hopes that he can turn boring and confusing politics into something easy to understand, digest, and participate in.

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