PHOENIX, Ariz. – Arizona’s repeal Common Core bill HB2190 was killed in the Senate yesterday by a 16-13 vote with the help of four GOP accomplices, Senators Jeff Dial, Bob Worsley, Adam Driggs, and Steve Pierce.
Every Senate Democrat, save one abstention, voted to keep Common Core in place in Arizona.
HB2190 had a meteoric rise and was building momentum as it passed effortlessly through the full House chamber and then through the Senate Education Committee in the matter of only a few short weeks on its way to a vote by the full Senate yesterday.
The bill was sponsored by and shepherded through the House by Republican Mark Finchem. Tea Party favorite Republican Senator Kelli Ward, who is also considering a challenge to U.S. Senator John McCain next year, then championed HB2190 and amended it in effort to gain even wider support by Senate members.
There was even a two hour Twitter rally in support of HB2190 the night before its appearance before the Senate that furthered the bill’s momentum and exposure. The rally generated over 500 posts that reached nearly 620K users making over 1.2 million impressions on people’s timelines.
Governor Doug Ducey then entered the picture taking a page from Indiana Governor Pence’s save-Common-Core playbook where you claim you’re against Common Core yet your actions have the exact opposite effect.
Through surrogates Governor Ducey began claiming that Arizona didn’t need this legislation to end Common Core in our state. He then took to the megaphone himself, when HB2190 began soaring in popularity, in an attempt to kill the bill before it reached his desk.
Why the State Board of Education and the former governor brought Common Core into Arizona without a single vote or hearing by the Legislature, he and his State Board could surely could get rid of it in the same manner, no?
Ducey went into full “kill the bill” mode and began spreading the myth that he could “tweak” the Common Core learning standards to suit Arizona, no matter that the standards are fully copyrighted and had to be adopted in full with no changes in order to get federal monies in 2010. He never lets facts in the way of his agenda.
Ducey also never mentions the Common Core’s NSA-like data suctioning systems that continually gather data on our state’s kids for BigGov and BigBusiness at the Chamber of Commerce from preK to college without parental permission. Governor Ducey has BigBuddies at the AZ Chamber of Commerce.
All of Governor Ducey’s posturing had its desired effect and provided political cover for the four eventual GOP turncoats to dealt the death blow to the anti-Common Core bill.
This spares Governor Ducey the embarrassment of having to veto the legislation himself since he campaigned as an anti-Common Core candidate to garner the conservative vote.
The truth is that many conservative Arizonans felt Ducey’s desire to rid our state of Common Core was lukewarm at best and plain political opportunism at worst.
One thing Gov Ducey didn’t factor in to mix is that Arizona’s Common Core test AZMerit, which is basically a Smarter Balanced test rebrand, just started being administered yesterday.
The AZMerit test was hastily cobbled together after the State Board of Education quickly gave the contract for our state test to the behavioral research company AIR (American Institutes for Research) which has already had massive technology failures while administering its tests in Florida recently. Florida teachers and parents were livid.
The more parents and kids are exposed to the Common Core standards and especially the tests the more they hate them and the more they mobilize.
In many Arizonan’s eyes Governor Ducey now owns Common Core, he has become its face. Wait until all those furious parents start storming the Govenor’s castle as the AZMerit test goes live looking for the “face of Common Core” to vent their frustrations.
Governor Ducey may wish he delayed his HB2190 murder plot by a couple weeks. But like any good politician he could do a complete U turn, so there’s still hope.