Share your ideas on proposed rule changes

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:

  1.  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
  2. 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
  3. 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, 105)
  4.  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, .021, .022, .023, .024, .026, .100)
  5.  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
  6.  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

For more information on these proposed rules visit

  • Sam Wadsworth

    Cursive Writing in Elementary Grades – No one needs cursive. The only reason any elementary child would need to learn cursive is to sign their name.Even that is going away. We are wasting time with this while important educational needs go unmet or are neglected in part because we are spending large amounts of time teaching this dead subject. There is good reason we no longer teach short hand and their is good reason why cursive is fading away. We don’t need it. Their is no reason to insist upon teaching cursive except to appease those who are desperately clinging to the past. Let cursive writing die.

  • Ed DePriest

    It’s about time that PE and the absolute necessity for elevated heart rate activity for all children become a requirement in K-12. Where I came from, it was a requirement that PE was taken all four years of high school. Although I have not conducted the research myself, I would be willing to bet that their is a direct correlation between the reduction in PE requirements at all levels and the increase in obesity of our young people.
    It is well known that activity throughout the day improves blood flow and oxygen to the brain. Kids are more alert and have performed better after engagement in regular physical exercise. It is time that Idaho mandate required PE for all kids in K-12

  • Ed DePriest

    I know,,,, there,,, not their.