We all cheered when the Idaho House Education Committee voted against Common Core during this last legislative session.
We were a little less hopeful, but also cheered when the Senate Education Committee wrote a resolution to form an interim committee to replace Common Core Standards and the accompanying SBAC test. Finally, the legislators heard the message “from hundreds of parents and educators: – No More Common Core!
The legislator’s subsequent letter, addressed to Governor Little, the State Board of Education and Sherri Ybarra, directed that “it is time to replace Idaho Content Standards sometimes referred to as Common Core standards.” It also gave specific direction for Math, ELA and Science standards and asked that an assessment test for those new standards “not be based on Common Core…removing Idaho from the SBAC consortium and cancelling the SBAC contract.”
Finally, the directive explains the process about selecting “the committees to rewrite the standards (to) please include people who understand current issues with Common Core, retired teachers who have used previous standards, parents from across the state who have expressed interest, administrators with a variety of perspectives, as well as experts from other states.”
BUT LOOK WHAT HAPPENED
There are about nine subcommittees broken down by grades and subject. Sounds Good? A closer look at those members show a different story: For instance, only 3 parents are listed in these subcommittees, and have been placed in upper grade standards. Many of the parents, who previously testified against Common Core, expressed their main concern with early elementary grades. Not one parent is on those committees. Not one parent who testified against Common Core and the SBAC testing in Southern Idaho is included.
There are three community members, one being Dean Mortimer, who did not seek re-election this year. He was notorious for keeping any bill related to Common Core or SBAC in his desk while he served as chair in the Senate. The administrator, who has the most knowledge of ComonCore/SBAC and testified over the years with grave concerns, was not included. Nor were any of the teachers, parents, etc. from his district. While three others, all from that same school district, serve on sub committees; including a welding teacher, an instructional coach and an administrator who has ties with Tittle II, a program that depends on federal money generated from the Common Core/SBAC program.
And who is leading the way during these subcommittee meetings? The State Board of Education, which has been a supporter of Common Core. And who are the legislators on the interim committee? Stacked mostly with pro Common Core members. So our cheering may have subsided, but we as members of the Idaho Chapter of the National Education Guardians will keep you informed on what is really happening in these committees and how you can make a difference.
This is our last chance to put Idaho’s education back on track. There is so much at stake. We cannot be silent!
Linda Beauvais President of the Idaho Chapter of the National Education Guardians — in Blackfoot, Idaho.
Tags: Blackfoot, Common Core, Education, Linda Beauvais, National Education Guardians, SBAC