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Idaho House, Senate education chairs urge support for Idaho core standards

Idaho House and Senate education chairman Rep. Reed DeMordaunt, R-Eagle, and Sen. John Goedde, R-Coeur d’Alene, have penned a joint “Open Letter to Idaho Legislators” they distributed to Idaho newspapers, among others, this afternoon, urging that the state stick with its new Idaho Core Standards for student achievement in math and English. “We urge you to stay the course,” the two write. “We have raised our academic standards in Idaho and increased expectations for every student to make sure they graduate from high school prepared to be successful. Now is not the time to go backwards.”

The two take on recent criticisms of the standards, including:

  • “A few have said this state-led effort will lead to a national curriculum. But Idaho law prevents this: Idaho Code 33-512 specifically outlines that curriculum adoption is up to the locally elected school board. This is how it was in the past under state academic standards, and this is how it remains today.”
  • “Some have claimed that the state should slow down because the standards were ‘rushed through.’ Yet, Idaho is three years into a six-year process of development and implementation. … It will be another two years before the state administers the first test measuring students against these new, higher standards.”
  • “Several parents have voiced concerns about the collection of data. While these concerns are not related to the standards in any way, we share these concerns. … That’s why Sen. Goedde is working on a bill that would prohibit the State Department of Education from sharing individual student data in the future. Supt. Luna is fully supportive of this legislation.”

They also note that the standards have widespread support, “not just from us, but from every education, child advocacy and business group in the state.” You can read the two lawmakers’ full article here.


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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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