Guest Opinions

Idaho teachers need our support in fight for Idaho Core Standards

Over the summer, numerous hearings have been held on the Idaho Core Standards. Educators from across the state showed up to testify in defense of our Idaho Core Standards. These Idaho Core Standards were written by highly skilled Idaho teachers and are used to ensure our students have the skills necessary for a competitive marketplace.

Educators showed up in force at the hearings to defend the Idaho Core Standards because they know what is best for our students. Guided by the state standards, a locally adopted curriculum is chosen by each district/charter school in the state and implemented by professional educators throughout the state. Rural and urban students learn the same skills and the same content, ensuring that no student does better just because they live in a different zip code.

The state started working with education stakeholders on the Idaho Core Standards in 2007. It took until late 2013 to implement these standards. The standards were reviewed, redrafted and combed over by the brightest minds in Idaho education before rolling them out for public input. Businesses, educators, parents and public officials agreed that our Idaho Core Standards are best for Idaho students. These standards have been scrutinized more than any other rule drafted by the state.

Some confusion has been spread about the outcomes of these standards, yet no evidence indicates they hurt student performance. The Idaho Core Standards are different from anything the state has used in the past, and they are extremely flexible. Students use creative problem solving, positive communication, improvisation and a variety of other higher-level skills to prepare them for the global workplace.

Idaho educators showed up in force to defend the Idaho Core Standards because they see first-hand the positive impact these standards have. As lifelong teachers and part-time legislators, we stand alongside educators and our colleagues to preserve our standards. Idaho Core Standards were created by teachers, for teachers. A small, wealthy political group is now trying to get rid of the Idaho Core Standards but has no prepared alternative. We should not be using unscientific thinking and political bias to set the curriculum for our students. Now is not the time to pull the rug out from under educators who tirelessly build engaging lessons for their classrooms. We defend the Idaho Core Standards, because they are the best choice for Idaho students.

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