Idaho college leaders back Common Core

University presidents say the more rigorous standards will make for better students.

broberts@idahostatesman.comJune 5, 2013 

Twenty-five percent of students coming to a four-year Idaho school and 75 percent of those headed to a two-year school need remediation before they can enroll in postsecondary classes, said the presidents of Idaho's three public universities and Lewis-Clark State College.

Retraining students in what they should have learned in high school costs taxpayers millions of dollars and hampers employers job training, they said.

The presidents say Idaho Core Standards - part of Common Core State Standards, a movement among 45 states to develop a set of goals for what students should know by the time they graduate from high school - will make a difference.

Idaho Core Standards provides "a common set of expectations that dramatically improve quality and rigor while also providing common benchmarks against which Idaho students can be measured and compared to students across the country," the four wrote in a letter supporting the standards.

The standards focus on math and language arts. Math standards provide "advanced mathematics that are required for college majors in science, technology, engineering and mathematics and the ever-growing demand for skilled workers in the modern economy," according to the letter.

Idaho's public schools will implement those standards beginning with the 2013-14 school year.

Critics contend that the Common Core State Standards are an unprecedented intrusion by the federal government into state and local education affairs.

Tom Luna, Idaho's superintendent of public instruction, says the feds are not involved with development of the standards.

The letter was signed by Robert W. Kustra, Boise State University president; Arthur Vailas, Idaho State University president; J. Anthony Fernandez, Lewis-Clark State College president; and M. Duane Nellis, University of Idaho president.

Bill Roberts: 377-6408, Twitter: @IDS_BillRoberts

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