Arizona Business Leaders Against HB 2190

March 19, 2015

Dear Senators,

 

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.

 

Sincerely, 

 

Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Buckeye Valley Chamber of Commerce

Chandler Chamber of Commerce

Flagstaff Forty

Gilbert Chamber of Commerce 

Glendale Chamber of Commerce

Greater Casa Grande Chamber of Commerce

Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce

Greater Phoenix Leadership

Marana Chamber of Commerce

Nogales Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Prescott Chamber of Commerce

Prescott Valley Chamber of Commerce

Queen Creek Chamber of Commerce

Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce

Sierra Vista Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Southern Arizona Leadership Council 

Tempe Chamber of Commerce

Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Tucson Metro Chamber of Commerce

Wickenburg Chamber of Commerce

Yuma County Chamber of Commerce

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