Arizona lawmakers defeated yet another effort to prohibit the state from using the Common Core education standards.
As has happened time and time again in the state’s robust debate of the controversial Common Core, a small group of GOP senators bucked the majority of their caucus to vote 13-16 against a provision to do away with the controversial standards, this time HB2190.
Sponsored by Rep. Mark Finchem, HB2190 would have thrown out the Common Core standards that the Arizona Board of Education adopted in 2010, and have now been implemented in school districts throughout the state.
HB2190 also placed restrictions on what kind of standards the state would be allowed to adopt in the future, and put in place a vote by the Legislature to approve standards in certain subject areas – a move that some Republicans, including Sen. Bob Worsley, were opposed to.
“I believe this governor and the state board and the folks that he just appointed to the state Board of Education will modify Common Core to everyone’s satisfaction,” said Worsley, R-Mesa. “And I would rather have the experts doing that and not the Legislature.”
Gov. Doug Ducey said last week he thought the bill was not necessary. He called on the Board of Education to review the standards and tweak them where needed.
Worsley, along with Sens. Jeff Dial, Adam Driggs and Steve Pierce, were four GOP senators who cast the crucial votes to defeat HB2190.
Their colleagues did not go down quietly, as several Republicans rose in support of yet another measure they’ve pushed to undermine Common Core, only to watch it die on the Senate floor.
The Senate has already this year defeated one anti-Common Core bill, sponsored by Sen. Kelli Ward, R-Lake Havasu City, which would have allowed individual school districts to adopt their own standards.
Senate President Andy Biggs, R-Gilbert, called the Common Core “a regression to the mean” as far as educational excellence is concerned.
And Sen. Steve Smith, R-Maricopa, said he’s heard enough from citizens of the state to know that the people have spoken and they want the Legislature to “repeal this abomination of a program.” Smith referred to the Senate Education Committee hearing on HB2190, and claimed that a majority of those who speak about the bill want Common Core gone. However, more people signed in opposed to HB2190 than those who supported it.
Ducey has stated his opposition to Common Core, but critics have wondered how far the board of education’s review of the standards will go in amending the standards.