We write to express our opposition to HB 2190. While we all share the goal of having the highest possible education standards that reflect Arizona values, we have some serious concerns with this bill.
The bill prohibits adoption or implementation of any academic standards that are "substantially the same" as not only the “Common Core” standards but also Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards and other standards developed to align to readiness for college and career. This includes those that are age and developmentally appropriate in areas such as phonics, multiplication table or high school English. In other words, this legislation values unique standards over excellent standards - an effort that could ultimately lead Arizona down the path of having uniquely poor standards. Certainly, we do not believe this is the intent of the legislation, but it is the practical effect.
The future workforce that will drive Arizona’s long-term competitiveness and eonomic success needs to be taught based on the most academically challenging and highest quality standards. Some of Arizona’s best and most rigorous standards may ultimately align with the best standards in certain grades and subjects in other states. HB 2190 would have us unilaterally prohibit their use in Arizona classrooms.
Further, requiring schools to use three separate sets of standards across the next three years, as outlined in HB 2190, will not lead to college and career readiness for all of our students. Rather, there will be considerable confusion and disruption for students and their teachers. Additionally, this would be an enormously expensive exercise for the state.
Because Arizona retains control over its standards through its constitutionally mandated bodies at the Arizona Department of Education and State Board of Education, we can already reevaluate Arizona’s standards and assessment at any time. We would support a review that ultimately results in higher standards, but we cannot support legislation that would essentially ban best practices in standards.
Therefore, we collectively urge you to vote no on HB2190.