Gov. Ducey to lay out education agenda to Board of EducationPosted: Updated:
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey may finally say whether he wants the state to ditch Common Core school standards during a presentation to the Board of Education Monday.
Ducey's appearance comes just three days after he appointed five new members to the 11-member board that could tilt the board's support away from the standards. At least one ardent Common Core opponent is among those appointed, but another is a school superintendent who helped craft the math portion of the standards.
Ducey plans to lay out details of his education agenda at the meeting. On the campaign trail and since taking office in January, he's said he believes Arizona should have its own standards rather than a model based on national standards. But he has never specifically said whether he wants Arizona out of Common Core.
Monday may be that day.
In a news release announcing Friday's appointments, the governor said his choices reflect his focus on putting classrooms first, expanding educational opportunities and ensuring that Arizona has its own standards.
"Our work starts with making sure that the standards in our classrooms are Arizona high-standards and not a one-size fits all model," Ducey said in a statement.
Arizona and more than 40 other states helped draw up the standards and the Board of Education adopted them in 2010. They are now fully in place across the state.
Opponents criticize the standards as driven by the federal government. Proponents say they are state-created and designed to increase standards to ensure high school graduates are prepared for college and careers.
The Senate last year rejected efforts to ditch Common Core, and last month voted against an anti-Common Core bill. A House bill that would pull Arizona out of Common Core completely is now in the Senate, but its fate is unclear.
Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas, who sits on the board by virtue of her position, campaigned last year primarily on her opposition to the standards. And one of the new members, Gilbert town council member Jared Taylor, is active with Arizonans Against Common Core
Ducey also appointed Arizona State University President Michael Crow to the board. He's generally supported the standards. And he added Yavapai County School Superintendent Tim Carter, who helped craft the standards according to the Daily Courier newspaper in Prescott.
The other two new board members are Chuck Schmidt of the Arizona Interscholastic Association and former Democratic state Rep. Chris Deschene, who said he isn't set on either keeping or throwing out Common Core.
The board was mired in controversy last month when Douglas fired its executive director and her deputy. Ducey then stepped in and reversed the firings, and Douglas fired off a fiery retort accusing him of overstepping his bounds.
That dust-up has largely receded through, after the Legislature moved to clarify the law and ensure the board operates independently of the state school superintendent.
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