Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Arizona business community not going to party like it's 1999

Here they go again. For the second time in as many weeks, the state Senate today will consider two pieces of legislation that will dramatically weaken Arizona's ability to give its students a world-class education defined by rigorous standards.

The Senate is set to take up SB 1395 and SB 1396, which would allow local governing boards and charter holders to opt-out or opt-in of our state's higher standards and a corresponding assessment. Schools can already exceed the minimum standard. These bills would let them achieve below the minimum and allow schools to opt in to old academic standards from the 90’s.

If these bills were to become law, it would open the door to opting out of standards that will allow our students a chance to compete for tomorrow's jobs. Instead, the bar for our kids would be lower; much lower.

Don't like today's standards? Then you can party like it's 1999, and revert back to the standards from 15 years ago. You remember 1999: Ricky Martin was Livin’ La Vida Loca, Keanu was in The Matrix, Bill Clinton was in the middle of an impeachment trial and Google turned 1.

These bills harm Arizona's reputation as a state where school choice thrives. If every school district has its own standards, the ability to compare schools across districts goes away. Without uniform, rigorous standards, parents won't be able to make apples to apples comparisons that help them determine where to send their kids.
Today's exercise is another attempt to lower the expectations for our kids and  deny them the high quality education they deserve.

Please take thirty seconds to watch this video that shows the resounding business community support for higher standards.

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