2016 Draft of the Arizona Standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics

The first draft of the "Arizona Standards for English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics" has been completed and is available for public comment on the Arizona State Board of Education website. Click HERE to read them.    

We have until Oct. 3, 2016 to submit comments.  Some improvements over Common Core include: 1) the removal of wording that directed teachers how to teach a standard in a specific way, 2) the over-emphasis on informational text has been lifted, and 3) cursive writing is back in.  

Unfortunately, the standards you will see in Kindergarten through Grade 3 continue to be developmentally inappropriate.  Young children are not little adults.  Their brains haven't developed to where they can reflect on their own thinking.  They cannot think abstractly.  They cannot empathize or view the world as others do.  

In Kindergarten especially, children are internally motivated to be independent and creative, and this is very important to them.  They are learning to tie their shoes, erect a sand castle, pull up their pants, tie a bow.  They are working on competence, mastery, and creativity.  

This is not the time to encourage dependence and conformity.  It is not appropriate to demand that they express opinions about an author's motives, or collaborate and seek others' suggestions and incorporate them into their writing.  Some children will “get it.”  However, many more won’t.  Teachers will have to drill, drill, and drill the right responses into them.  This time would be better spent teaching grade-appropriate materials.  Children who cannot meet these standards will experience much stress and a loss of creativity.  They will wrongly suffer disapproval from teachers and parents, and might be considered “delayed” and subjected to remedial classes they don’t need.  See Dr. Megan Koschnick’s 9/9/2013 videotaped presentation, which she gave at a  conference at the University of Notre Dame. The event was sponsored by American Principles Project. 

If you are a parent, grandparent, teacher, concerned citizen, or if you specialize in child development, please comment on some of these inappropriate standards.  Please also copy me at anitalchristy@gmail.com, so I can share your comments with members of our Mommy Lobby.  We want to ensure that the State Board is made aware of these serious issues. 

Click HERE for the link to the Draft Standards. 

Click HERE for the link to Public Comment. 

If interested, Click HERE for the link to 17 public hearings to take place across Arizona from September 12-21, 2016.  

Click HERE for the link to the following media statement from the Arizona State Board of Education which reads:

“The Arizona State Board of Education’s Academic Standards Development Committee will be holding statewide public hearings on the 2016 Draft Arizona’s Mathematics Standards and English Language Arts (ELA) Standards over the next month as part of the standards review process.

“In March 2015, Governor Ducey tasked the State Board of Education with reviewing Arizona’s Math and ELA Standards in order to ensure that the standards are vetted, approved, and controlled by Arizona, and that they are the best for Arizona’s students.

“In April 2015, the State Board of Education established the Arizona Academic Standards Development Committee to oversee the development of Arizona Mathematics Standards and Arizona ELA Standards.

“It took 200 teachers over 6,000 volunteer hours to complete a comprehensive revision on the standards. If adopted, Arizona will become the only state in the nation with a Foundational Writing Skills Strand for grades K-3 that includes a progression of handwriting skills from print through cursive.

“On August 22, 2016, after numerous positive public comments, the State Board of Education voted to accept the 2016 Draft Arizona English Language Arts and Mathematics Standards for public consideration and input rule changes.

“The standards website offers opportunities for comment at the end of each standard and grade level strand for both mathematics and English language arts (K-12). Please visit the page to review the standards and submit a comment.

“Public Hearings will be held throughout the state through the month of September to collect public comment on the 2016 Draft Arizona English Language Arts and Mathematics Standards.”  

See Also:

Piaget's Cognitive Stages of Development.  

Joint Statement of Early Childhood Health and Education Professionals on the Common Core Standards Initiative Issued by the Alliance for Childhood March 2, 2010.  NOTE:  This was signed by over 420 child development professionals and presented to the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers.  It was ignored.  The Standards were released in June 2010. 

Common Core Standards: Why we object to the K-3 Core Standards.  Alliance for Childhood.   

Reading Instruction in Kindergarten: Little to Gain and Much to Lose.  Alliance for Childhood 

A Tough Critique of Common Core on Early Childhood Education.  

Transcript of  the testimony of Mary Calamia LCSW, CASA, to the New York State Assembly Education Forum Brentwood, New York October 10, 2013.