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Education


Overview:

A part of the mission of the Greater Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce is being a catalyst for community development. While this consists of many different facets, a key component for us has been strengthening our educational institutions.

In 2010, the Arizona Legislature passed, and Governor Brewer signed, law that would create new standards for our state’s K-12 community. What has come to be known as Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards (ACCRS, nationally known as Common Core), a new set of math and language arts norms have been established that will better prepare our students for a changing economy. These research-based standards were developed by a multi-state coalition, which included Arizona, seeking opportunities that would ready students for entry-level college work and job training. This effort initially began after a call by business leaders across the country to ensure America’s students were ready for the jobs industry had to offer, and especially be able to compete with students overseas who have been eclipsing Americans next generation in job readiness. These new standards set by the 2010 legislation call on our public schools to implement by the start of this falls school year.

In 2013, the legislature, in the next step to promoting new rigors, passed a bill that would repeal the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) test. The high school graduating class of 2016 will be the last to take the AIMS this spring. To replace AIMS, the state board of education has put out requests to multiple testing companies, seeking a new exam that will reflect the new standards we are setting for our students.

The Greater Flagstaff Chamber stands firmly behind the new direction our state is setting for our students. In 2013, our board of directors endorsed the legislation that repealed the AIMS test. As Northern Arizona’s business leaders, we are fully aware that in order for our industries to succeed, we have to ensure that our students are being given the opportunity for the best education that will adequately prepare them for the workforce.

Next Steps:

Opponents of ACCRS in the state legislature have been pushing a suite of bills that would strip these standards out of our state. We will continue to support ACCRS and oppose any legislation that would overturn our new K-12 standards.

Legislative Watch:

Senate Bill 1095
Sponsor: Ward
Title: Withdrawal from PARCC
Status: HELD - Education Committee

Chamber Position: OPPOSE

Senate Bill 1121
Sponsor: Ward
Title: High school graduation; tests; moratorium
Status: HELD - Education Committee

Chamber Position: OPPOSE

Senate Bill 1310
Sponsor: Melvin
Title: Schools; common core; prohibition
Status: FAILED - Senate (12 AYES, 18 NAYS)

Chamber Position: OPPOSE

Senate Bill 1388
Sponsor: Ward
Title: Schools; academic standards; tests
Status: PASSED - Education Committee (6 AYES, 3 NAYS); Advances to Rules Committee

Chamber Position: OPPOSE

Senate Bill 1395
Sponsor: Burges
Title: Schools; competency requirements; assessments; optional
Status: FAILED - Senate (12 AYES, 17 NAYS, 1 NOT VOTING)

Chamber Position: OPPOSE

Senate Bill 1396
Sponsor: Farnsworth
Title: schools; competency requirements; assessments
Status: FAILED - Senate (12 AYES, 17 NAYS, 1 NOT VOTING)

Chamber Position: OPPOSE

Additional Material:

Arizona's College & Career Ready Standards

Graduate Prepared Arizona

Letter to senators regarding SB1310

Governor Brewer's Four Cornerstones of Reform

Expect More Arizona