Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne (R) released a statement Tuesday encouraging schools to adopt a character-focused curriculum created by Character Counts (CC) as new matching grant applications will open soon.
“When I was last Superintendent, from 2003 to 2011, we successfully implemented The Six Pillars of Character [Six Pillars]: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and good citizenship,” said Horne. “Unlike social and emotional learning [SEL], which has become a distraction from academics, this program was integrated into education such as students writing essays on each of the pillars. As we renew the focus on academics, it could provide an important balance to our students’ education.”
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) announced Tuesday that the AZ OnTrack Summer Camp (AOTSC) would receive funding for a second year, giving kids another opportunity to catch up on learning lost during the pandemic.
“In light of this barometer of our kids’ success, there’s no time to waste to catch our kids up. We must continue to pour on the gas in our efforts,” said Ducey. “We know our kids lost ground during the pandemic – it was not good for them. In Arizona, we kept schools open, made critical investments in literacy programs and launched a summer camp to prevent further learning loss.”
Gov. Doug Ducey signed a bill into law Friday that requires anti-Communist civics education to be taught in Arizona high schools.
House Bill (HB) 2008 directs the State Board of Education to update its high school social studies academic standards, which only included personal finance and American civics education. The update will consist of a comparative discussion of political ideologies, such as communism and totalitarianism, in opposition to the freedom and democracy essential to the United States’ founding principles.
State Representative Daniel Hernandez (D-Tucson) voted against a requirement for K-12 students to learn about the dangers of communism, saying that white nationalism poses the bigger threat.
Hernandez issued those remarks during the House floor vote on the K-12 budget last Friday. In just over a century of existence, communism has claimed over 100 million lives. However, Hernandez claimed that the existence of white nationalism, which he attributed to the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, was far worse.