March 28, 2018
Dear Parents and Stakeholders:
The new updated draft standards for Science, History and Social Science (which include Civics, Economics and Geography) are out right now for public review. I would encourage all of you to review them in detail and comment on language that should remain unchanged and where changes would be beneficial. You can make your comments on the ADE website:
All comments, along with independent third-party content expert reviews will be used to determine changes before the final draft is presented to the State Board of Education for approval in the Fall of 2018. The standards review process is long and thorough even prior to the development of the drafts. In addition, the public now has 60 days to comment, followed by a period to incorporate those comments.
A little clarification on the process. Every year staff at ADE work with the public and form work groups to review and develop an initial draft on whichever standards are under review for that cycle. This cycle there were two groups, one for Science standards and one for History and Social Science standards. After that group completes its work, the process is internally reviewed. Both staff and the Superintendent of Public Instruction weigh in on any changes they deem necessary before presentation to the Board and the public for comments.
After almost 60 visits around the state, the input I have received is that the public wants more stringent and rigorous standards, not just vague or high level conceptual frameworks. As a result, we reached out to various staff and organizations, including Hillsdale College, to add depth to the work of the initial working groups. All the work of the working groups was retained, but was supplemented to make it more rigorous, and more in keeping with public comments I regularly receive not only from parents but Arizonans in general.
To show what was added during the internal review process, I have had posted on the ADE website the standards that show in black lettering the initial draft, along with green lettering showing the additions made by myself and staff based on our additional work. Here are the links so you can see the additions:
The following two months are critical for everyone to weigh in on these standards which will be a guide for our children for the future. I look forward receiving everyone’s input.
Diane M. Douglas
Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction