After losing the Republican primary in August, Diane Douglas submitted a surprise proposal to scrap the new Arizona education standards she initiated after ditching Common Core three years ago.
Most of us resist the very real, very understandable urge to toss a Molotov cocktail over our shoulder when exiting a job under difficult circumstances. Not Diane Douglas, Arizona’s outgoing superintendent of public instruction. After losing the Republican primary in August, the embattled Douglas submitted a surprise proposal to scrap the new Arizona education standards she initiated after ditching Common Core three years ago. In their stead: a plan linked to Hillsdale College, a private Christian university in Michigan with ties to U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and President Donald Trump. Education standards are intended to be benchmarks of understanding students should achieve by any given grade, and not govern specific curriculum. The new plans, however, include specific stories from the Old and New Testament, and other faith-based language. Despite 62 percent of U.S. adults believing in evolution, per Pew Research Center, Douglas then tapped noted creationist Joseph Kezele – who believes Noah made room on his ark for dinosaurs (but only the babies, logically) – to review and edit the standards. Douglas’ move coincides with an uproar over a draft of new science standards from the Arizona Department of Education that affect the teaching of evolution and climate change – specifically, by removing most mentions of them altogether. Many state education leaders poo-poo Douglas’ latest move as a tantrum over losing her office. “My take on it is that she lost her primary, and that this is her last gasp, trying to do something for her people,” Bruce Johnson, dean of the University of Arizona education school, told Education Week. Run fast, Diane – those Molotovs blow up quick.