The Arizona Board of Education has voted to approve new education standards to replace the Common Core State Standards. But the changes are minor rather than a full-scale repudiation of the state-led effort to set standards for what students should know in English/language arts and mathematics.
The biggest change involves instruction in cursive writing.
Under the new standards, students in Arizona will receive lessons in cursive writing through 5th grade.
The common-core standards don’t require instruction in cursive writing.
The state has been working on revising the common core for nearly two years. Diane Douglas, the current state schools superintendent, campaigned on eliminating the common core.
“These new standards represent the final step in the repeal and replacement of the common core in Arizona, and they reflect the thoughts and recommendations of thousands of Arizona citizens,” says Douglas in a press release.
That release goes on to say that the state’s standards were “reviewed by several nationally recognized technical experts including prominent anti-common-core authorities.”
In addition to adding cursive writing instruction, the state’s standards, which are known as Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards, also require students to learn about time and money in the early grades, call on students in kindergarten to learn how to spell 20 of the most frequently used words and on 3rd graders to spell 500 of the most frequently used words. Arizona also extended its standards to regulate high school math courses that are not required for graduation.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.