Arizona: AIMS Failed And So Will PARCC and Common Core

Benjamin Franklin said, “Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom.” I think that we can all agree that education is paramount to a successful society and that it would behoove us to create a system that promotes and accelerates. However, how do we ensure that our children are best educated?

There is a new program on the block that is getting snapped up by schools around the country called the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI). In Arizona the AIMS test has been struck out and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) has taken its place which uses the CCSSI platform. As of right now the teachers have been getting trained of how to teach a CCSSI based classroom. Next Governor Brewer must sign AZ HB2047 to allow the PARCC test be the new standardized test for Arizona. The third phase is for the PARCC test scores to be shared with the federal and other state governments to continue to standardize the test. AZ HB2563 requires the AZ State Board to enforce the PARCC testing. Neither HB2047 or HB2563 have been signed into law but Governor Brewer’s aide Matthew Benson stated, “At the heart of Common Core is the notion of implementing more stringent internationally benchmarked standards. She is 100 percent supportive of the concept.”

If we can encourage our politicians to vote NAY on HB2047 and HB2563, we’ve effectively stopped the Phase II of the implementation of the Common Core.

Debra Goodwin here at TAC has written a good overview of CCSSI and why it is bad in her article called Common Core: An Attack on Freedom and What to Do About it. Columnist Michelle Malkin wrote, “For decades, collectivist agitators in our schools have chipped away at academic excellence in the name of fairness, diversity and social justice. Progressive reformers denounced Western civilization requirements, the Founding Fathers and the Great Books as racist. They attacked traditional grammar classes as irrelevant in modern life. They deemed ability grouping of students (tracking) bad for self-esteem. They replaced time-tested rote techniques and standard algorithms with fuzzy math, inventive spelling and multi-cultural claptrap.”

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Arizona Uses Bill of Rights to Make History on Capitol Grounds

December 15th is National Bill of Rights Day, which was the perfect day to dedicate the nation’s first monument to The Bill of Rights. The monuments were erected right across from the Arizona State Capitol in Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza.

Positioned upright are the 10 limestone monoliths, all of which stand 10-foot tall. Each stone tablet is carved with large block letters with amazing craftsmenship. The tablets bare roughly 500 words, but are some of the most important words written by our founding fathers.

1. Free speech. 2. The right to bear arms. 3. Freedom from having soldiers take over your house. 4. Freedom from unreasonable search and seizure. 5. The right to due process of law. 6. The right to confront your accusers in an impartial court of law. 7. The right to sue and be sued. 8. Freedom from cruel and unusual punishment. 9. A recognition that other rights exist. 10. The right for states to retain sovereignty from the federal government

MyBillofRights.org Executive Director Chris Bliss, who came up with the idea, has a mission. To “promote an enduring awareness of and respect for the freedoms and the principles guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, through the installation of Bill of Rights monuments and permanent displays in civic spaces across America.”

“It is time for us to rediscover our own Bill of Rights; to elevate it to the position of public prominence it richly deserves; and in so doing to help replant the seeds of America’s greatness so that the generations who follow can share in their bounty as we have,” says Bliss

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Getting the Message Out There

Through the social media such as Facebook and Twitter, one can gain a little insight into the mindset of elected officials at all levels of government.  As a New Jerseyan, I follow Governor Chris Christie through his Twitter feed, and frequently share my feelings about his actions, agree or disagree.  Another one who interests me, or did once upon a time, is Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, whom I follow via her Facebook page.

The first thing that got me interested was Governor Brewer’s rhetoric regarding the federal government’s handling of illegal immigration.  My interested doubled when SB1070 was signed into law.  The federal government was (and still is) doing little to nothing about our porous borders, and the costs were (and still are) passed down to state and local governments.  Arizona, being a border state, is one of those especially affected.  Echoes of the grievance in the Declaration of Independence, “He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection,” seem to rise throughout Phoenix, Tucson and other cities throughout the state.

The federal government’s response was to sue the state of Arizona, essentially saying, “You can’t enforce the laws we have on the books!”  Why isn’t that applied to the NDAA or drug laws?  The Obama Administration and the State Department even reported Arizona to the United Nations!  While appalling, this should not be surprising from a President who seeks UN and NATO approval for military action, but not from Congress.

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Arizona State Sovereignty Amendment Back from the Dead!

UPDATE: The Arizona Senate passed HCR2004 16-14 the second time around 0n April 30.

HCR:2004 unfortunately failed to pass in the Senate on the third reading of April 24, 2012, with a vote of 14 “Ayes”, 14 “Nays”, and two who did not vote (Steve Gallardo and Frank Antenori). Supporters thought the bill was dead.

However, Senator Yarbrough (who voted no) put forth a motion to reconsider, and the motion carried. To view the vote detail, and to see the breakdown of who voted for or against HCR: 2004, please Click Here.

As Joel Poindexter wrote in the previous Tenth Amendment Center story Arizona Moves to Regain Sovereignty, “The proposed amendment, HCR:2004, is intended to reassert Arizona’s sovereignty as a state, and regain control over much of the state’s lands and resources. According to Section C. of the proposal: “The State of Arizona declares its sovereign and exclusive authority and jurisdiction over the air, water, public lands, minerals, wildlife and other natural resources within its boundaries….” The authors made exceptions for existing military posts, Indian reservations, and federal property, pursuant to the US constitution’s Article I, Section 8, Clause 17.”

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Discussion: Original Jurisdiction

All of the information below is referenced by Publius-Huldah’s Blog, which uses it to conclude,

ONLY the US Supreme Court has Constitutional Authority to Conduct the Trial of the Case Against Arizona & Governor Brewer.

US Constitution, Article 3, Section 2

In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make. (emphasis added)

Federalist 81 (Hamilton)

Let us now examine in what manner the judicial authority is to be distributed between the supreme and the inferior courts of the Union.   The Supreme Court is to be invested with original jurisdiction, only “in cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers, and consuls, and those in which A STATE shall be a party.  ” Public ministers of every class are the immediate representatives of their sovereigns.   All questions in which they are concerned are so directly connected with the public peace, that, as well for the preservation of this, as out of respect to the sovereignties they represent, it is both expedient and proper that such questions should be submitted in the first instance to the highest judicatory of the nation.   Though consuls have not in strictness a diplomatic character, yet as they are the public agents of the nations to which they belong, the same observation is in a great measure applicable to them.   In cases in which a State might happen to be a party, it would ill suit its dignity to be turned over to an inferior tribunal. (emphasis added)

US Code: TITLE 28 > PART IV > CHAPTER 81 > § 1251

§ 1251. Original jurisdiction

(a) The Supreme Court shall have original and exclusive jurisdiction of all controversies between two or more States.
(b) The Supreme Court shall have original but not exclusive jurisdiction of:

(1) All actions or proceedings to which ambassadors, other public ministers, consuls, or vice consuls of foreign states are parties;
(2) All controversies between the United States and a State;
(3) All actions or proceedings by a State against the citizens of another State or against aliens. (emphasis added)

Federalist 78 (Hamilton)

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