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Criticize Common Core in AZ, and Dept of Ed Official Might Call You a “F***tard”

July 31, 2015

In September 2013, the Arizona Daily Star noted that then-Governor Jan Brewer “ordered state agencies to stop using the term ‘Common Core’ when referring to the new education standards, in response to hostility from critics over what they see as a federal intrusion.”

The Daily Star article continues:

In an executive order, the governor said she was “reaffirming Arizona’s right to set education policy.” Her order spells out “no standards or curriculum shall be imposed on Arizona by the federal government.”

But it concedes the standards adopted by the state Board of Education in 2010 already are being implemented. And Brewer herself referred to them as Common Core in her State of the State speech and her budget request to the Legislature.

Press aide Andrew Wilder said the order changes nothing except the name, which going forward will be “Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards.’’

Brewer’s decision was arguably a sleight-o-name intended to fool the Arizona public into accepting Common Core.

Still, there were critics in Arizona, vocal critics like teacher Brad McQueen.

If anyone insists that Common Core is not politically loaded, send that person this June 2014 story out of Arizona:

By Brad McQueen

Ever wonder why more public classroom teachers don’t speak out against the Common Core and their Superintendents of Instruction and Governors who support it?

I am a Tucson teacher who wrote my first anti-Common Core op-ed this past February in the Arizona Daily Independent and it was subsequently reprinted by other online news sources. I followed up the publication of the op-ed with an interview on a local radio station. This was the reaction of the Arizona Department of Education bureaucrats in emails recently obtained by the Arizona Daily Independent:



From: Hrabluk, Kathy (Associate Superintendent)
Sent: Friday, February 28, 2014 2:37 PM
Subject: AZCCRS (Common Core) criticism

Fyi regarding a teacher named Brad McQueen. He is on a roll criticizing AZCCRS (Common Core)… he also has an article in the Capitol Times (2-27- 14) stating many misconceptions that has been floating around. Just thought you might want to check your list of teacher teams (from which teachers are selected to work on tests at the Dept of Education). He is one unhappy camper.



From: Hunting, Irene (Deputy Associate Superintendent Assessments)
Subject: RE: AZCCRS (Common Core) criticism

Thank you. We have made a note in his record.

Irene Hunting


Irene Hunting, Deputy Associate Superintendent of Assessments, instantly “notes” my file to make sure I am never called again to work on tests at the AZ Department of Education. I have worked on our state’s standardized test, the AIMS test, and other assessments for the last five years for several weeks over each summer break. Not only do I enjoy the challenging work and I enjoy contributing toward creating our students’ tests, but the summer work has always supplemented my teacher salary. But when you speak out against the cult of Common Core, they are punitive. Sarah Gardner, AZ Director of PARCC Assessments, joins the conversation and also makes sure that I will never work on tests again at the AZ Department of Education or anywhere else for that matter.



From: Gardner, Sarah <
Sent: Monday, March 03, 2014 1:46 PM
To: Stephanie Snyder (PARCC,Inc.)
Subject: RE: question

Given that Brad McQueen gave a negative statement to the press about Common Core and assessment, you may want to remove him from the invitation list…

This was such a surprise for Arizona as Brad has been on many committees, both for our state assessment as well as involved with Common Core and formative assessment based on CC (Common Core) for our state

Let’s make sure he is not going to Denver later this month. Please remove Brad McQueen from the list.

Sarah Gardner, MAEd-C/T
Director of PARCC and Innovative Assessments
ADE – Assessment Section (602) 542-7856 ________________________________________

Angela Escobar then sends the following email, on taxpayer-paid time, after discovering that I had gone public with my anti-Common Core views during a radio interview:


From: Escobar, Angela (AZ Dept of Education)
Sent: Friday, February 28, 2014 2:44 PM
Subject:Brad McQueen is on the radio

What a f*cktard.


Lovely. and that as coming from a department of education official.

Notice that the education officials still refer to the supposed “Arizona” standards as what they really are: Common Core. And Common Core can have no criticism because that makes CC marketing more complicated.

For the rest of Brad’s story, click here.

In March 2015, the Associated Press (AP) reported that legislation concerning the repeal of Common Core was defeated in the Arizona Senate 16-13 after making it through the Arizona House.

Arizona still has Common Core, and at least the 2015 legislation was willing to call it by its true name.

According to the AP, current Arizona Governor Doug Ducey doesn’t think repeal is “necessary” because he has asked the board of education for a standards review.

If Arizona’s standards review entails altering Common Core, then it is arguably no longer Common Core.


I wonder if Escobar will be available to encourage those participating in Arizona’s Common Core standards review to keep CC exactly as is under threat of being called f***tards. Perhaps not. In July 2014, Escobar had her hand slapped for her slurring McQueen.

Common Core lesson learned?

Shaking my head….

AZ Common Core


Schneider is a southern Louisiana native, career teacher, trained researcher, and author of the ed reform whistle blower, A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who In the Implosion of American Public Education.

She also has a second book, Common Core Dilemma: Who Owns Our Schools?, newly published on June 12, 2015.

both books


  1. Zorba permalink

    How incredibly immature these people are. Vindictive, too. “Let’s do all we can to punish this guy for speaking out, and also call him names, while we’re at it.”

  2. Zorba permalink

    Reblogged this on Politicians Are Poody Heads and commented:
    The Arizona Department of Education: vindictive, immature potty-mouths.

  3. LAEducator permalink

    Yes, Mercedes, even in-house, these days school administrators seem to only want the opinions of teachers who are 100% thank-you-sir-may-I-have-another-yes-men. In one district, all teachers have historically been invited to DataFest to review the past year’s achievements & plan the next year’s goals. The same was true this school year until teachers who had already RSVPed were summarily uninvited in the closing days of school. We know that they never listen to us, but just wanted a seat at the table to voice our ideas & concerns anyway.

    Also as part of a 3 year SRCL Litercy grant from the Gates Foundation we teachers, along with administrators & students were asked for our evaluation of the first year of the grant. After teachers spoke their minds the first year, they were never surveyed again. They are still calling it the Tripod Survey (Dipod Survey?) but have dispensed with collecting a third of the data. Don’t know if they are faking teacher responses or if GF just said they didn’t need opinions from teachers.

    During plan period mtgs at the start of school in fall 2014, I tried to verbally encourage colleagues to attend an LAE sponsored SLT writing workshop after school that day & was “shushed” by two administrators. I put a sign on the door.

    Mercedes, you are very fortunate to work in a public school district that is resisting & exposing the idiocy of the bad ideas coming from above instead of always drinking the kool-aid, pretending all is well, & believing you can finagle the data to win the game. As bad as it is for teachers, it is so much worse for the students who are getting cheated out of a quality education while having extensive data about themselves passed around, traded, & sold to what end we truly do know not.

  4. Jack permalink

    This is another example of no accountability for management.

    Arizona Dept. of Ed. official Angela Escobar should have been summarily fired for calling a teacher a “f–ktard” (an elision of “f–king” and “retard”, I presume, as in “f–ktard” = “f–king retard.”)

    There’s so much wrong with this, it’s hard to know where to begin.

    First off, using the word “retard” is akin to the n-word. It’s the special ed equivalent of “n—er”. When part of Ms. Escobar’s duty as an education executive is to serve the needs of special ed students, for her to use that word should disqualify her FOR LIFE from working in education.

    If a teacher said this, or like Ms. Escobar, wrote it in an email that later came to light, he or she would be fired… and deservedly so.

  5. Ken Watanabe permalink

    I’m sure the Arizona Dept. of Education has F***tarded brains stuck in their A**.

  6. Dr. Rich Swier permalink

    Great. Posted:


  7. Reblogged this on Sumo Sacerdote and commented:
    Arizona Board of Education attacks teacher for criticizing Common Core. One comment about the use of our children for ‘educational’ profit-making states: “As bad as it is for teachers, it is so much worse for the students who are getting cheated out of a quality education while having extensive data about themselves passed around, traded, & sold to what end we truly do know not.”

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