The House Education Committee behaved shamefully during public hearings about the new Science Education Standards recently. The lowest point came when several members of the committee, including the chairwoman, revealed that they did not fully grasp exactly what they were voting on.
These science standards have been up for debate for three years. Knowing this was coming, I expected the members of the committee to be well prepared for the hearing. All told, it took nearly 20 minutes, and four different people, including Superintendent Ybarra, to explain to our legislators the gravity of the docket before them. Because of this delay, several people, including teachers and students who had taken time off from school, were unable to speak before the end of the two-hour hearing time. Adding to the insult, those who did have time to testify were continuously admonished by the chairwoman for the mere mention of the phrase “climate change;” though she allowed members of the committee to speak freely about the subject.
Our legislators are paid by us to be prepared, knowledgeable representatives in the law-making process. Just like students, our legislators need to do their homework and not waste taxpayers’ time.
Anna Lindquist, Boise