Questions Must Be Asked of Kelli Ward on Common Core
Dear Concerned Parents and my Fellow Arizonans
The education of our children is the most important long term issue facing our state and our country. In the years 2009-2012, Arizona leadership went to Washington, D.C. to apply for Race-to-the-top funds in their quest to adopt Common Core. Since then, Arizona parents have battled the federal government’s overreach into the local school systems.
Recently, parents and teachers have seen firsthand the implications these “standards” are having on Arizona children.
The results from the AzMerit tests have been released, showing most Arizona students have failed to master the most basic math and reading skills. They are proven to be “minimally proficient”.
I believe parents and the states, not the federal government, should be responsible for crafting the education of their students. As your U.S. Senator I will fight to maintain local control of our children’s education.
Arizona voters spoke at the polls in 2014, when they elected Diane Douglas as the Superintendent of Public Instruction. Douglas ran solely on the basis of repealing Common Core in Arizona schools, and returning local control of education to parents and the state.
During Douglas’ first days, she sought to remove members of the State Board of Education from their positions. Our governor blocked her move—shortly after, Senate Bill 1038 was proposed by State Senator Kelli Ward. The bill contained language further stripping Douglas of her authority. Do these actions represent you?
The bill left language stating the board has the authority to hire staff, but deleted the language “under the recommendation of the Superintendent of Public Instruction”. Furthermore, it deleted verbiage stating the superintendent directs the work of board employees, saying the board supervises the staff, NOT the superintendent. These changes effectually striped the superintendent of her authority over the board.
These actions by Senator Ward in conjunction with the governor’s wishes beg the questions:
Where does Kelli Ward really stand on Common Core? Why should we believe that she would be an advocate for local control now, when her actual legislative record says otherwise? Did she really need another committee and another “thoughtful study” to tell her what we already knew to be right?
Arizona voters did not elect Douglas to this position simply for her to be denied the ability to perform the job they sent her there to do. The utter disrespect shown to them by this move greatly undermines your voice when it comes to the education of your children.
I stand with Douglas and her battle to purge our schools of Common Core. I would never craft or be part of any legislation taking away her abilities to do just that. I believe our local educators and parents are intelligent enough to direct the education of Arizona students.
Politicians looking to continue their political progression have fooled us time after time. We have all seen the damage done by Common Core. The actions of the political class to maintain their power and control over the education of our children has gone on long enough.