Arizona Educators Dismayed After New, Revised Classroom Standards Delayed

By Casey Kuhn
Published: Thursday, December 15, 2016 - 6:58am
Updated: Thursday, December 15, 2016 - 9:44am
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(Photo by Casey Kuhn - KJZZ)
New standards committee meets on Dec. 14, 2016 to delay vote on new classroom standards.

Common Core standards for teaching came to Arizona in 2010, and gave guidance to public education. In March 2015, Arizona’s governor told the State Board of Education to review the standards, and a revised draft would have gone before the board next week.

But, a contentious meeting Wednesday delayed the approval.

The new standards would strengthen how to teach what time and money are in primary grades, and extend cursive teaching through fifth grade. These and other changes came after more than 10,000 public comments on the process.

At the meeting there were hours of comment from educators adamant on getting the standards in place before schools are graded on their performance.

Others, mostly non-educators, objected, saying the new standards were still too much like Common Core.

In an 8-7 vote, the committee voted to push the draft approval until January.

University of Arizona math instructor Melissa Hosten has been in Arizona education for 23 years. She spoke at the meeting in favor of accepting the new standards and said  government inaction is wearing down teachers.

“The morale of Arizona teachers has continued to plummet without the support of our legislature and agencies and groups like this," Hosten said. "“It means that teachers continue to feel unsupported, will probably leave the workforce, and have this ambiguous understanding of how their students will be measured.”

About 50 percent of the revised standards are adopted from original Common Core wording.

The earliest the new standard would be in place would be the 2018-2019 school year.