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Common Core out: Arizona education board votes to repeal controversial standards

PHOENX – The Arizona State Board of Education in a 6-2 decision voted to repeal the Common Core State Standards Monday morning.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas brought the motion to the board to reverse the 2010 adoption of the standards.

In a letter addressed to board President Greg Miller, Douglas wrote, “It is hereby moved that the actions of the State Board of Education (SBE) on June 28, 2010 to adopt Common Core, now referred to as the Arizona College and Career Ready Standards, as the standards for language arts and mathematics be reversed and that all links to Common Core be severed.”

Dept. of Education spokesman Charles Tack said, though the vote severs ties to Common Core, the standards will remain in place for the time being.

“But it (the vote) will give Arizona the freedom to modify, add to, delete from those standards as Arizona sees fit,” he continued.

Gov. Doug Ducey said he wants the board to proceed.

Tack said the vote will not affect federal funding.

Douglas ran largely on the single issue of repealing the standards, calling them a “de facto mandate, only to be renamed Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards,” during her January State of Education address.

The Arizona House and Senate had repeatedly killed bills to repeal the standards, most recently with the Senate failing to pass HB 2190 in March.

The vote comes at a chaotic time for Douglas and the board. In February, Douglas attempted to fire two staffers.

Gov. Doug Ducey said Douglas lacked the authority to fire Christine Thompson and Sabrina Vazquez, the board’s executive and assistant executive directors and overturned the firings.

Earlier this year, Douglas brought a lawsuit against the board in an attempt to clarify if she has constitutional power to hire and fire the board’s staff.

The board also launched a lawsuit against Douglas, “seeking a declaration that Douglas is breaking the law by failing to execute board policies.”

KTAR’s Martha Maurer and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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