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Rep. Syme moves to approve standards while deleting one section, and removing all ‘supporting content’

Idaho state schools Superintendent Sherri Ybarra addresses the House Education Committee on school science standards on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018. (Betsy Z. Russell)
Idaho state schools Superintendent Sherri Ybarra addresses the House Education Committee on school science standards on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018. (Betsy Z. Russell)

Rep. Scott Syme, R-Caldwell, has moved to approve the proposed new school science standards with two changes: Deleting one section, in which he said he objected to a single sentence regarding energy that he said he felt “led to conclusions;” and eliminating all sections of the standards that fall under the heading “supporting content.” The section covers renewable and non-renewable energy resources, including air pollution from burning of fossil fuels.

Rep. Lance Clow, R-Twin Falls, said he didn’t have a problem with the section Syme referenced, but supported the idea of removing all the “supporting content.” “My conclusion has been it’s not the standards that have been causing all the debate and the discussion. It’s when we get into the supporting content,” he said.

State schools Superintendent Sherri Ybarra said, “I believe the intent of the supporting content was a direction, but the schools can make it work. ... Schools will figure it out. The information will still be available. It doesn’t need to be a state mandate.” She added, “We can’t unring the bell - that information is out there and it is a local decision. If they call me up and ask for it, I’ll make it available. … It’s a public document, they can find it. We will offer many resources to help districts. They will make the standards work.”



Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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