Wednesday, April 1, 2015

AZ Senate continues its war on education and common core

From the Daily Star/tucson.com:

The head of the Senate Education Committee is blocking the confirmation of one of the governor’s picks for the Board of Education because the nominee supports the Common Core academic standards.

Sen. Kelli Ward, R-Lake Havasu City, refused to schedule a hearing on Tim Carter. He is the Yavapai County school superintendent.

Carter was involved in crafting the standards. That was too much for Ward to take.

"There’s a large outcry against Common Core," Ward said, making it clear she wants the standards scrapped. [Scriber: "Large outcry"? I suspect only in Ward's echo chamber.]

The move comes a day after Ward and other Senate foes of the standards failed to get a majority of their Senate colleagues to approve legislation blocking the standards.

Lacking majority support from the full Senate, Ward opted to use her position in running the Education Committee and setting the agenda to accomplish the same thing.

"One of the few things I have as the Education (Committee) chair is the ability to try to stop Common Core right here at this Education Committee level," she said.

Fortunately, Ward's action may be more symbolic than practical.

Ward’s unilateral action will have no immediate effect. By law, gubernatorial nominees are allowed to serve for up to a year without being confirmed.

And the rest of the news is not all bad. Chris Ackerley's parental opt-out bill died in the Senate.

In a related development Tuesday, Ward found herself on the losing end of another measure related to Common Core.

On a 15-14 vote, the Senate killed legislation that would have allowed parents to decide their children should not have to take any standardized tests, whether linked to Common Core or any other set of standards.

Sen. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, said such a move makes no sense.

"We need to know where students stand," he said, and if the test results are unreliable because some students don’t take them, parents have no way to compare schools.

Amazingly insightful from one who otherwise is at odds with schools about funding.

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