In Today’s issue, we highlight a candidate running for Superintendent of Public Instruction; incumbent Diane Douglas. On January 5, 2015, Douglas took office.

What is the role of the Superintendent of Public Instruction?

It is an elected state executive position in the Arizona state government. The superintendent oversees the state of Arizona’s public school system and directs the state’s Department of Education.

Arizona’s Superintendent of Public Instruction is the lowest paid state education administrator in the United States, paying $85,000

Diane Douglas Campaign

Repeal of Common Core Standards 

When I asked for your vote I campaigned in opposition to the federal mandated Common Core English Language Arts and Math Standards. I traveled the state and spoke about 3 major problems with the standards. 

First, AZ did not own the rights to the standards which were created by special interest groups in Washington DC.

March, 2015 – I received, on behalf of Arizona, a release from the copyright from the Council of Chief State School Officers.

My next concern was the process by which the State Board of Education (SBE) adopted the standards – being mandated to do so through the Race to the Top grant process prior to the release of the standards.

October, 2015 – I requested an agenda item for the State Board of Education to reconsider its adoption of the Common Core a.k.a. Arizona College and Career Ready Standards as the official standards. By a 6-2 vote, the SBE repealed Common Core.

Finally, the curricula embedded in the standards drove classroom instruction rather than being adopted by your locally elected governing boards.

December 2016 – The State Board of Ed adopted revised standards. The revised standards were the work of hundreds of AZ teachers, representing 10 of our 15 counties, working over 7,000 man hours to read and review over 10,000 comments from citizens all across our state. Over 40% of the Math and almost 50% of the English Language Arts standards have been revised; embedded curricula and reading lists with inappropriate, graphic “literature” were removed from our new standards.

At my direction, the ADE standards team has created an ongoing review process so that AZ standards never again sit on a shelf for years on end. Improvements to the standards will be brought to the SBE as necessary. 

We have updated the standards development process to allow parents and citizens to take a more active role in reviewing our standards. I have also created a citizens’ committee to review all the questions included on the AZMerit test for appropriateness to ensure our questions are academic and do not have a political or socio-economic bias.

Az MERIT Testing

We need to re-examine why we test students at all. My plan is to significantly reduce the emphasis on AzMERIT as the only state-level assessment that measures students’ proficiency in English language arts and math. Teachers and schools should be using a variety of assessment tools in thoughtful ways so that teachers know, on a real-time basis, if a student is on the path to proficiency or not and can, in turn, provide assistance on an individualized basis. Mandated statewide testing should only be confirming what teachers and schools already know about student performance.

Again, the information provided is directly from the Diane Douglas’s campaign and does not reflect upon San Tan Times or the Staff’s political beliefs or endorsements.

Key Points & Controversies:

For additional information regarding Diane Douglas’s platform and campaign, go online at:

dianedouglas.com

facebook.com/dianedouglasSPI

twitter.com/_dianedouglas

azed.gov/superintendent

ballotpedia.org/Diane_Douglas

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