New Arizona Standards?

Activists on the ground are calling the new Arizona standards just approved by the Arizona State Board of Education a rebranding of Common Core.

They are also concerned about the lack of transparency since they had the understanding there would be another month to review standards.

The Common Core has been revised in Arizona, and unfortunately whenever Common Core is the starting point for new standards what you will get is a rebranding. That’s not to say there are not significant changes, as there were with New York’s rewrite. Unfortunately New York’s changes appear to be more comprehensive than what we see in Arizona.

The Arizona Republic reports about some of the changes:

Cursive writing appears to be the biggest change in terms of what things kids will be required to learn. There’s been unanimous support for making cursive writing a requirement.

Beyond that, many of the revisions had to do with changing the phrasing of the actual standards that, while unassuming to the average person, are meant to give teachers more freedom over how to teach their students.

Some phrases that appear to instruct teachers how to teach a certain standard were changed. As were phrasings that appeared too vague or unclear.

For example, one phrase in the first-grade reading standards that said students should know how to ask and answer questions about key details in a text was expanded to include the “who, what, when, why and how about key details in a text.”

Educators who worked on the revisions said parts of them have been restructured so that parents can clearly see how the reading and math skills learned in one grade are expanded on in the next.

The revisions will be reflected on AzMERIT, the state’s standardized test, in 2018.

Most of the actual requirements in the standards remain unchanged.

Standards to learn time and money, the high school standards are ordered differently to reflect Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II. There are also additional standards added to the high school standards that are not required for graduation so I assume they will not end up on AZMerit.

So there has been some technical changes, but as far as I can see most of the foundational problems still exist. The early elementary standards are still age-inappropriate. There is still an over emphasis on informational text. The math standards still do not adequately prepare students for STEM programs in college.

It’s unfortunate that Superintendent Diane Douglas, who campaigned on ending Common Core, put her stamp of approval on this process and these standards. It is also disconcerting that these standards were voted on instead of allowing an additional month of review and public comment. Arizona can do better than this.

Read the final draft of Arizona’s ELA and Math standards.

1 thought on “New Arizona Standards?

  1. What you describe took place in AZ is the exact same thing that took place in TN. They removed curriculum from many of the standards and simple reworded other standards. Dr. Milgram reviewed our new TN standards and said they were Common Core with some TN changes and what TN changed is worse than Common Core. His final summation was the old TN Common Core standards, as bad as they were, are better than what TN just did. But I did a stare and compare of the old TN Common Core standards and the new standards and I find the exact same thing as you stated about AZ. Personally I believe they all have a model to follow that we are not aware of. I find it strange that so many states are making the same changes to their standards. And this is the same way Trump and DeVos will get rid of Common Core. They will change the name and tell the American people Common Core is gone and most of those that don’t have a clue and don’t really want to have a clue will go on their merry way happy that Common Core is now gone. DeVos a devout supporter of CBE, Charters and Vouchers will usher in a brand new fight and it starts all over again. Not me. I am done fighting and enemy we cannot beat. It is time to STARVE THE BEAST and that is what I am going to do. Save as many kids as I can. Get them out of the system. And pray that parents wake up and join my effort. The only way to beat this system is to start the system. As long as we continue to send our children into the belly of the beast the beast will grow fatter, richer and stronger. Time to stop fighting the enemy and start saving our kids.


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