Tea Party temper tantrum over Common Core continues

Last week the Sierra Vista Herald editorialized that Cap’n Al Melvin and his crew of crazies in the Tea Party who tried to scuttle the Common core standards with SB 1310 were wasting everyone’s time. Our View: A waste of time:

cryingteabagbabySooner or later, Arizona legislators have to get down to the business of enacting a budget and figuring out the financial priorities of the state.

Sooner or later, state lawmakers will have to stop grabbing headlines and playing politics and get down to business.

But apparently not yet.

Last week saw another fruitless effort by conservative Republicans at the Capitol who wasted time in the Senate chamber trying to kill “Common Core,” an initiative that details what K-12 students should know in English language arts and mathematics at the end of each grade level.

On Tuesday, a committee of the whole meeting of the Senate saw a 15-13 vote to adopt a bill to kill Common Core.

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On Wednesday, senators returned to the chamber and by an 18-12 vote, reversed the decision they had made just the day before, killing the bill to kill Common Core.

[E] ven if the action of the Senate had not been reversed, it is very unlikely Gov. Brewer would have signed the bill into law. Brewer has been publicly supportive of the Arizona Public Engagement Task Force, a coalition of business and education interests organized to promote the learning standards. She also used an executive order to change the Common Core name in September, creating a local name to counter impressions that the federal government is the force behind the initiative. She has said they are important to improving education in Arizona.

State senators knew both of these factors before they went to “work” on Tuesday and still devoted time to a wasted effort.

Judging from these shenanigans, and other efforts undertaken by lawmakers this session, it’s no wonder there is a statewide call to shorten the amount of time legislators spend in Phoenix each year.

It’s not often that you can recycle and editorial opinion, but this is one of those rare occasions. Cap’n Al Melvin and his crew of crazies in the Tea Party have four more bills they are pursuing in the Senate to try to scuttle the Common Core standards.

The Arizona Capitol Times (subscription required) reports, Anti-Common-Core bills clear hurdle, but face likely defeat in Senate:

Republicans who helped kill a bill that would have dumped Common Core last week gave preliminary approval Wednesday to two measures that are hostile to the learning standards.

Though they cleared floor debate, SB1395 and SB1396, bills that would allow school districts to opt out of Common Core and allow them to develop their own learning standards, are unlikely to win final approval in the chamber.

This is because the five Republicans who sided with the Democrats to kill SB 1310 last week — Sens. Adam Driggs, John McComish, Steve Pierce, Michele Reagan and Bob Worsley — are likely to do so again.

A fourth Senate bill, SB1388, which requires school districts to develop their own standards has not yet made it to the floor. HB2316, a bill that prohibits the state Board of Education or Superintendent of Public Instruction from adopting federally mandated standards or curricula passed the House Monday on a partisan 33-22 vote and has been assigned to the Senate Education Committee.

Gov. Jan Brewer has long supported the new standards.

Should any of these bills reach Governor Jan Brewer’s desk, she will veto it. So why is our legislature wasting so much time in pursuit of ideological Tea Party temper tantrums?

One response to “Tea Party temper tantrum over Common Core continues

  1. I know it is a rhetorical question, but possible answers to the question “why is our legislature wasting so much time in pursuit of ideological Tea Party temper tantrums” include:
    1. Many of our legislators long ago sold out to the axis of evil, the Center for Arizona Policy, the Goldwater Institute and the American Legislative Exchange Council.
    2. They want the easy route to proving they are doing something versus getting down to the hard business of actually governing to fix our state’s problems.
    3. Politicians think of the next election, Leaders think of the next generation.