Why are Comments from Achieve, Inc. all over Arizona's Redline version of the ELA and Math Standards?
Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas, whose campaign promise was to "eliminate the Common Core standards," issued a Dec. 19, 2016 Press Release to the public stating, “These new standards represent the final step in the repeal and replacement of Common Core in Arizona and they reflect the thoughts and recommendations of thousands of Arizona citizens.”
Nowhere does she mention the role that Achieve, Inc. played in reviewing and commenting on Arizona's "Redline" versions of the English/Language Arts (ELA) standards, the K-5 Math Standards, and the 6-8 and High School Math Standards. You will find literally hundreds of comments from this organization, more than from anyone else.
The "Redline" versions immediately preceded the December 2016 Final Drafts that were approved by the Arizona State Board of Education on Dec. 19. See Arizona State Board Approves Rebrand of Common Core Standards and State Board of Education Ignores Governor, Parents, and Own Policy; Rubber Stamps Common Core for Another 7 Years.
Achieve, Inc. had no problem recognizing and commenting on Arizona's so-called "replacement," standards, because they were virtually identical to the Common Core standards that Achieve, Inc. helped write back in 2009/2010. For those who aren't familiar with Achieve, this is the Washington, D.C. group that, in 2009, partnered with the National Governors Association (NGA) and Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) to develop the Common Core State Standards. A number of Achieve staff and consultants served on the writing and review teams.
Common Core standards were never tested in real schools anywhere, and were written mostly by academics and assessment experts—many with ties to testing companies. Achieve was a major beneficiary of the Gates Foundation and not only oversaw the writing of the Common Core State Standards, but also formed one of the two consortia of states that crafted standardized tests aligned to the Common Core. See What is Achieve, Inc., and Why Should you Care"? and History of AZMerit.
Should you want to review and compare the old Common Core with the Redline and Final versions, they are pretty easy to follow, because the coding is identical throughout. For example, in the Kindergarten English/Language Arts (ELA) standards, K.RL.1 = K.RL.1; K.SL.1 = K.SL.1; K.W.6 = K.W.6, etc. Here are the original Common Core ELA Standards, which Gov. Jan Brewer renamed without any changes, to Arizona's College and Career Ready Standards. Here is the Redline version. Here is the "Final" version of Arizona's ELA Standards.
In your opinion, were the "new" standards written by Arizonans? Were the Common Core standards repealed and replaced? Have you compared any of the old standards with the new? If yes, do you see anything substantive, or do you think they've been "tweaked"? Is Superintendent Douglas telling the truth?