Now is the time to comment on six proposed changes in K-12 education rules — which, if approved, carry the same weight as state law.
The proposals affect Idaho Standards Achievement Test and P.E. requirements for graduation, math and science course offerings and cursive writing instruction.
Public comments should be received before the State Board of Education considers the rules at its November meeting; the meeting date has not been set. The State Board of Education and at least one legislative body (the education committee in the House or Senate) must approve a rule before it is final.
Here’s how you can participate:
- Comment on the State Department of Education website.
- Send comments to the State Department of Education, P.O. Box 83720, Boise, 83720-0027.
- Attend a public hearing at 3 p.m. on Oct. 8 at Department of Education offices, 650 W. State St., second floor, Boise. Click here for the public hearing notice.
Here is a list and brief summaries of the proposed rules, as provided by the State Department of Education:
- Cursive Writing in Elementary Grades: This is a proposed rule. It would add the requirement that elementary students must learn cursive. It does not specify grades in elementary school where cursive instruction must occur, and standards for cursive writing are left up to each local school district to decide. (Reference: IDAPA 08.02.03.103)
- ISAT for the Purpose of Graduation: This is a temporary rule. The rule allows students who pass the ISAT in the ninth grade to have completed their 10th grade ISAT for the purposes of graduation. Specifically, for the Class of 2016, students who have not passed the ISAT as ninth graders must do an alternative route crafted by the district in lieu of passing the 10th grade ISAT as the state is transitioning to more rigorous assessments in 2015. The rule also allows students to receive content credit for classes taken prior to high school, but the classes do not count toward fulfilling graduation requirements. This rule is in effect immediately but can be altered through public comment. (Reference: IDAPA 08.02.03.105)
- Physical Education Requirements and Math and Science Course Offerings to Students: This is a proposed rule. Currently, physical education is required in elementary and middle grades, but no minimum time requirement exists. The proposed rule would establish minimum minute requirements for physical education in elementary school (60 minutes) and middle school (220 minutes). In high school, P.E. is required to be offered, but students do not have to take it in order to graduate. The rule would require students take two credits of P.E. as a graduation requirement. Students could earn at least one of their two required credits by playing a sport or other activity outside the school day. The activity must be sanctioned by the Idaho High School Activities Association or approved by the local school district. The rule also would require CPR training in at least one period of health class during high school as a graduation requirement. The proposed rule change also would offer students more flexibility in their math and science course offerings. High school students would have the option to take dual credit engineering, dual credit computer science, or advanced placement (AP) computer science and count it as a mathematics or science credit. Students must have completed algebra II standards to count AP computer science, dual-credit computer science, and dual-credit engineering as a math credit. Currently, students can take these courses but only for elective credit, which does not count toward the state’s graduation requirement of three years of mathematics and three years of science. The Idaho Technology Council and leaders of technology companies in Idaho helped craft this rule change. (Reference: IDAPA 08.02.03.104, 105)
- Endorsement Requirements: This is a proposed rule. The proposed rule revises endorsement requirements to align to changes to educator standards for: standard elementary certificate, driver education (6-12). English (6-12), gifted and talented (K-12), library media specialist (K-12), literacy (K-12), teacher librarian (K-12) as well as changes to the administrator certificate. The rule also changes the name of the group Idaho uses to accreditate its teacher education programs from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) to the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). (Reference: IDAPA 08.02.02.018, .021, .022, .023, .024, .026, .100)
- Idaho Standards and Driver Education: This is a proposed rule. This proposed rule addresses standards for English language arts, gifted and talented, library media specialist, literacy, school administrator foundation, principal, school superintendent and special education director as well as proposed standards revisions to the Idaho standards for operating procedures for Idaho public driver education programs. (Reference: IDAPA 08.02.02.004)
- Mathematics In Service Program: This is a temporary and proposed rule. This rule articulates that standards incorporated into the “mathematical thinking for instruction” courses may be taught by all Idaho-approved preparation programs under a variety of course titles. Each course must be approved by the State Department of Education to ensure fidelity in curriculum. The rule also clarifies language regarding out-of-state applicant requirements for the Idaho comprehensive literacy course. (Reference: IDAPA 08.02.02.016)
For more information on these proposed rules visit http://www.sde.idaho.gov/site/publicComments/.