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Republican Former School Superintendents Backing Democrat in 2014 Race

Cheryl Senter for The New York Times

Two Republican former state school superintendents are backing the Democratic candidate in the race. Arizona Public Radio’s Howard Fischer explains why.

One is Lisa Graham Keegan. She said Republican Diane Douglas is harming education with her promise to kill the Common Core academic standards in Arizona.

“I think she’s promoting a sort of a paranoia. There’s no question that the whole Common Core idea has been badly managed. And I understand that people think it’s not about academic standards. They think it's about something else,” Keegan said.

Douglas, in an election night interview, defined that “something else” as local control.

“Moms and dads want to take back control of their children’s education. Arizonans know what’s best for their children and they don’t need Washington, D.C. or a few privileged corporations telling them how to educate their children,” Douglas said.

But, Jaime Molera, another former GOP schools chief, said his decision to back Democrat David Garcia comes down to who is better suited for the job.

“Diane is incredibly extreme. And I think Arizonans don’t want a superintendent that’s going to want to blow up the system every other day,” Molera said.

Douglas responded with a statement calling the two “education insiders from the past who support greater federal influence into Arizona’s schools.”

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