Bills Approved That Would Allow An Opt Out Of Common Core

March 13, 2014

State senators, who last week lost an attempt to kill the Common Core education standards in Arizona, are trying a new tactic. They have approved two different bills that would let local school boards and charter school operators opt out of Common Core.

The Senate last week refused a complete Arizona ban of the standards, which were adopted by the National Governors Association, but there remains suspicion the standards are some sort of nationally imposed mandate.

“The federal education department is actually urging that the GED, the SAT and the ACT get in line with the Common Core standards. But what is that? That is a further nationalization of the education system, said Andy Biggs, Senate president.

While Sen. David Farnsworth said he is not a fan of standards, he understands some think they are needed.

“I think if we are going to have standards they ought to be home-grown Arizona standards," said Farnsworth.

The future of the two bills remains uncertain, but most major business groups support Common Core as a means of making sure kids have the needed skills for a higher education when they graduate high school, and Gov. Brewer has suggested she would veto any attempt to dilute them.