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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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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