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Posts tagged: Reed DeMordaunt

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.

No votes or recommendations, but K-12 Interim Committee chairs say report still in works…

The Idaho Legislature’s K-12 Educational System Interim Committee adjourned its meeting yesterday without any votes and announced it wouldn’t meet again – leaving hanging the question of what, if anything, the panel was recommending back to the Legislature after its three meetings this fall. Now, Idaho Education News reporter Clark Corbin reports that the panel’s two co-chairs, Senate Education Chairman John Goedde, R-Coeur d’Alene, left, and House Education Chairman Reed DeMordaunt, R-Eagle, right (Idaho EdNews photo) say the panel’s work isn’t done. Instead, they’re having a report compiled by the Legislative Services Office on the committee’s work, including recommendations from stakeholder groups who testified to the committee during its meetings, and plan to share the report with the rest of the committee. Then, members can use it to draft bills or proposals for next year’s legislative session.

“This was not an attempt to replicate the Legislature,” DeMordaunt told Corbin. “This was an opportunity for us in a smaller subset to review what happened and share learning with our colleagues in the greater body.” You can read Corbin’s full report here.

DeMordaunt: Panel won’t craft bills, but will ‘spawn ideas’ that could become bills

House Education Chairman Reed DeMordaunt, R-Eagle, told the K-12 Educational System Interim Committee, “As I think about this committee, I think of kind of three purposes. First is retrospective, the opportunity for us to look back at some of the things we have done, recently done, and make sure they are working the way they are intended. We know the old phrase, if you fail to learn, then you’re doomed to repeat, something along those lines. So it is important that we learn. Second I think for this committee is forward-looking. The opportunity for us to learn, to be educated on certain things, and potentially craft some legislation. Now I don’t see this committee crafting legislation, but I hope this is an opportunity for us to spawn some ideas that we potentially will see in legislation.”

He said, “The third reason for this committee and a charge that I would give every member of this committee, is the responsibility we will have now to take the information we are gleaning over these next several sessions and go back and share it with our respective House and Senate committees. … So those are the three purposes that I see for this committee, and I’m hoping we can move forward in that.”

After his opening remarks, Don Soltman, president of the State Board of Education, discussed Idaho’s goal of having 60 percent of citizens go on to some form of higher education after high school. Currently, he said, “Idaho’s rate is about 39 percent.”

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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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