The following remarks were prepared and delivered by Arizona Sen. Rich Crandall to the Oklahoma Interim Study Committee on Common Core State Standards on Oct. 6, 2011. Sen. Crandall was invited to speak before the committee regarding Arizona's adoption of the Common Core State Standards. In November, 2010, Alabama adopted the Alabama College and Career Ready Initiative, its version of the Common Core State Standards. Read More...
To learn more about the Alabama College and Career Ready Iniative, visit the link above to read the standards on the Alabama Department of Education webpage, download this two-page brief by A+, or visit our page of Alabama College and Career Ready Initiative resources.
Good morning Representatives,
It is my honor to stand before you today to talk about the new higher expectations coming in 2014-15 for high school graduates, typically referred to as the Common Core State Standards. My name is Rich Crandall and I currently serve as the Senate Education Chair in the Arizona Senate.
When my wife heard I was to be here in Oklahoma, she reminded me that I have not always exercised the best judgment when it comes to Oklahoma. At the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, with one minute left, I announced to three of my daughters at the game that we were leaving to beat traffic since Oklahoma had the game locked up.
One of the reasons I stand before you today is to tell you about the strong commitment Arizona has made to moving forward with the Common Core and why we made that decision. Another reason is that I am in the exact same position you are, elected by the people to make the best decisions for the future of our children.
Arizona is not unlike Oklahoma in many ways. Republicans enjoy a supermajority in both the House and Senate and every single statewide position is held by a Republican. We are known as a strong conservative state with a heavy Tea Party influence. We compete against Oklahoma and Alabama for the strictest immigration legislation and we pride ourselves on state’s rights, local control and school choice. We have over 500 charter schools and 225 districts serving approximately one million students. Just like Oklahoma we also have passed a marriage amendment, restrictions on abortion and this past year I sponsored a third grade retention bill, very similar to yours, I think it was even sponsored by Representative Sally Kern. I’m excited to see the difference those bills make.
You may be wondering why such a conservative state as Arizona—and why a conservative such as myself-- has jumped in with both feet to adopt and implement the Common Core State Standards? Every single statewide elected official in Arizona has endorsed the direction we are heading (although I’m not sure about our state mine inspector since we haven’t reached out to him yet), as well as our State Board of Education, a majority of state lawmakers from both parties and our three largest business groups. Governor Jan Brewer, who rose to prominence after signing our immigration bill (Senate Bill 1070), recently created the Governor’s Office of Education Innovation and appointed a rock star to head it up for the purpose of making sure we implement the Common Core effectively and efficiently.
Legislation to allow charter schools, or independently operated public schools, is currently pending in the Alabama legislature. So we pulled together some basic information that could help answer any questions you may have on the issue.
• A Frequently Asked Questions
(or FAQ) about charter school explains the relationship of Race to the Top grants Read More...