Responding to Concerns About Arizona’s Common Core Standards

Directors: Below is the informational letter that went out to administrators and educators about Arizona’s Common Core Standards (ACCS). The link below contains information regarding ACCS that you can use as your LEA has conversations with community members, families, parents and staff.

From: ADE Inbox

Subject: Responding to your concerns about Arizona’s Common Core Standards


Thank you for sharing your concerns related to the Arizona Common Core Standards (ACCS). Beginning in 2005, state education leaders and governors began to come together around the idea of developing more rigorous, shared academic standards. These discussions began to address concerns about the growing numbers of high school graduates needing remediation in college or additional training to perform basic workplace skills. After several years of discussions and research, new education standards were developed, with full participation from our experts here in Arizona; in fact, the lead developer of the math standards is a professor at the University of Arizona. The State Board of Education (SBE) adopted the college and career ready standards in 2010, in compliance with Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS) §15-203, to provide a rigorous education and college and career preparedness for Arizona’s K-12 students. The SBE added Arizona components to the commonly developed standards to include concepts Arizona educators and community members felt needed to be addressed in our schools.

The SBE retains the authority to modify the standards to address the needs of Arizona’s students and schools; the SBE did not cede any authority to another state or national entity. Furthermore, neither the SBE nor the Arizona Department of Education has the authority to adopt specific curriculum to be used in neighborhood schools. That authority lies with local governing boards; thereby allowing communities to decide what textbooks and other materials should be used in the classroom (ARS §15-721 and §15-722). SBE adopted academic standards address what a student is expected to learn (i.e. multiplication, grammar), while local curriculum adopted is the tool used to teach (i.e. math problems, reading material) to the standards.

To address your concerns, it would help if you could review the standards and let us know exactly with which standard(s) you have a concern and how you would like to see a particular standard modified.

This link will take you to the ACCS for English Language Arts for K-12:

K-12 English Language Arts Standards

This link will take you to the web page where you can review the mathematics standards for K-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12:

K-12 Math Standards by Grade Level

Also, our academic staff has prepared a detailed response to many of the concerns raised regarding ACCS; please see the document – Issues Responses Regarding Arizona’s Common Core Standards.

If you would like more information, please visit

On behalf of all educators striving to ensure every child has the opportunity to be successful not only in school, but in life, thank you for your interest in providing a high quality education.

Thank you,


The Staff at ADE