Common Core opponents plan Boise conference

Critics say the new standards will hurt Idaho education.

broberts@idahostatesman.comJuly 18, 2013 

  • WHO'S SPEAKING AT THE CONFERENCE?

    • Jane Robbins, a senior fellow with the American Principles Project in Washington, D.C., and co-author of the report "Controlling Education From the Top: Why Common Core is Bad for America."

    • Sandra Stotsky, a former assistant commissioner at the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, where she oversaw developing or revising the state's K-12 standards.

    • Ze'ev Wurman, a former adviser at the Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development in the U.S. Department of Education.

Idahoans' ability to make decisions about education in their own state is jeopardized by the new eduction standards, critics say. They've planned the conference to warn the state of their concerns.

Two groups - Idahoans for Local Education and 912 Project Idaho - are bringing speakers from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 27 to the Boise Centre on the Grove.

Tickets are available online. Admission is $10; legislators can attend at no cost.

Both organizations oppose Common Core, a set of education standards backers say will promote critical thinking and delve into subjects more deeply than schools have done in the past. Tom Luna, the state superintendent of public instruction who strongly backs the standards, has said Idaho can make some changes to the standards.

Stephanie Zimmerman, a mother of eight, founded Idahoans for Local Education last fall after she became concerned that Common Core standards for what children would learn, sap sovereignty from Idaho's public education system and weaken what kids are learning.

"Our state schools are going to be figureheads in what is taught in the curriculum," said Zimmerman, who decided to home-school her five school-age children this year rather than expose them to Common Core.

One of her goals is to meet with lawmakers and convince the Idaho Legislature to hit the pause button on implementing Common Core.

The 912 Project Idaho group started in 2009, named for the day after 9/11 when America was united. It's a citizens advocacy group of about 900 people, many in the Treasure Valley, said President Valerie Candelaria.

The group came out of commentator Glenn Beck's calls for like-minded people to join together, she said.

She said she fears Idaho will lose control over the standards for what will be taught in Idaho.

Bill Roberts: 377-6408, Twitter: @IDS_BillRoberts

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