Some think that Arizona politicians are trying to trick citizens into believing the state has done away with the controversial Common Core Standards by changing the education policy's name.
In late September, Arizona governor Jan Brewer (R) issued an executive order telling executive agencies and encouraging citizens to refer to Common Core Standards as “Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards.” Days earlier, State Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal had suggested the name change, explaining that he felt the term “Common Core” had taken on skewed political connotations, according to AZCentral.com.
Brewer's order affirmed that the Common Core Standards, which she refers to as the "standards adopted by the State Board of Education on June 28, 2010,” will be implemented during the 2013 - 2014 academic year.
The Common Core State Standards have been adopted in 46 states in an effort to make education more uniform across the country. The policy lays out overarching math and English goals that allow teachers and states the flexibility to hammer out the specifics. However, the standards have come under fire from some conservative activists who feel that they represent a form of federal intrusion into state schools.
Brewer spokesman Andrew Wilder has said that the name change will assure the standards “are better understood by the public,” other politicians see the move as a way to confuse and silence the opposition, according to the Arizona Daily Star. State Rep. Carl Seel (R-Phoenix) pointed out that when citizens inquire about the standards to state agencies, they will be told the Common Core is no longer policy in Arizona, per the Star.
The Associated Press described the name change as a move to show “that Arizona is acting independently from the federal government.” Brewer's order confirms that that “no standards or curriculum shall be imposed on Arizona by the federal government.”
On the blog FightCommonCore.com, writer Shane Vander Hart explains that he sees the name change as one of the “shallower attempts we’ve seen to address critics of the Common Core State Standards.” He goes on to direct Arizona residents to play the politicians’ “game” and “refer to [the policy] as the Arizona College and Career Ready Standards for Math and ELA” when calling the governor’s office.
In an op-ed for the Ahwatukee Foothill News, teacher Mike McClellan also suggests that the name change is an insult to tea partyers' intelligence.
“As if changing the label will placate the [partyers],” writes McClellan.