The Arizona Board of Education voted 6-2 this week to do away with Common Core eventually, but to keep the standards for now. KNXV-TV Arizona reported that Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas made the motion for the vote, and eliminating Common Core is part of the education plan she released this month.
Douglas explained that the board wants to "take care of Arizona's children." She added that the citizens of Arizona were fully capable of managing the education of the state's students.
Board member Reginald Ballantyne said he was tired of what he called political nonsense, and that he wanted move on to topics that would help children, educators, and parents in the state.
Eventually, Arizona will have to develop its individual set of learning standards. The governor's office stated that although the vote was symbolic, it is a concrete decision that moves the state closer to the act of repealing Common Core.
No changes are imminent, but a committee is currently being formed to take on the task of discussing what Arizona's education standards will be.
Douglas has been under criticism since she attempted to fire the executive staff earlier in the year. In September, the Board sued Douglas to force her to supply remote computer access to board investigators and redirect web activities to the committee's new website. The body that sets state school policy, the Board, moved its staff out of Douglas' offices.
The business community and education groups largely support Common Core, and both groups were delighted to hear that Arizona Board of Education President Greg Miller said that nothing will truly change following the vote. He added that this event only makes a way for further "tweaking" of Common Core standards at a later date.
"We did not repeal Common Core," Miller said. "We repealed our vote from 2010, but we left the Common Core standards in place."
He explained that this was a way to allow Douglas to avoid criticism from her supporters, reported Jason Barry of KPHO-TV Phoenix.
Department of Education spokesperson Charles Tack said federal funding would not be affected by the vote. Earlier in this year, Douglas sued the board to clarify whether she has the power to hire and fire the board's staff, reports KTAR-News Radio Phoenix.
Jill Galus, writing for KOLD-TV Tucson, reports of ongoing charges that Miller assaulted Douglas during a recent board meeting. Along with the vote on Common Core, the Monday agenda included a discussion about changing the executive director's title and job description so that they do not conflict with Douglas' assigned duties.
Following the vote, Expect More Arizona released this statement:
"What educators and parents need to know is that this does not change the current standards. Educators and students have been working hard over the last five years to adapt to the new, more rigorous standards. What educators are teaching and students are learning does not change as a result of today's vote.
Maricopa County Republican Party Chairman Tyler Bowyer stated that the GOP is grateful to all who continue to support the ideology of Arizonians and were strong enough to "repeal these terrible standards."