Common Core constitutional questions (UPDATED)

(UPDATED, 2:04 p.m., with comments from Luna spokeswoman Melissa McGrath.)

Tom Luna took the case for Common Core to Coeur d’Alene Thursday.

And the superintendent of public instruction heard some feedback on 10th Amendment issues.

Tom Luna

Tom Luna

Luna — who defends the Idaho Core Standards as the product of a voluntary, state-led initiative — restated a familiar argument during his meeting with Kootenai County Reagan Republicans. Common Core does not represent a national curriculum and does not establish national testing. And under the 10th Amendment, the federal government has limited say over education policy.

Here’s a summary of the back and forth, as reported in the Coeur d’Alene Press.

“The 10th Amendment makes it clear that unless the Constitution gives the federal government the right or the authority explicitly, then that right or authority rests with the states or the people,” Luna said. “So, the federal government does not have a role or a responsibility to be involved in education.”

From Coeur d’Alene School Board member Ann Seddon: “I think the thing people are concerned about is that a structure, a system will be in place for when the federal government wants to move in … not just saying to us, ‘You must,’ but ‘We’re going to tell you what the standards are,’ because you just said they already are telling us we must have standards. It’s that failure of the 10th Amendment.”

Luna conceded that the 10th Amendment has been trampled, by Republican and Democratic administrations alike, but maintained that Common Core is a state-led effort.

In an email Friday, Luna spokeswoman Melissa McGrath said Seddon and Luna were in agreement — and said Thursday’s audience was on Luna’s side. “The vast majority of people there were very supportive; they just had questions. I believe in (Seddon’s) quote she was reiterating his point not disagreeing with him.”

  • Cindy Omlin

    Even though the controversy about the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) is in full swing, teachers are being expected to teach to the standards. At Northwest Professional Educators and our national association, the Association of American Educators, our desire is to support teachers through the implementation process and make sure that they have the tools necessary to succeed. Without good implementation of the standards, teachers will be set up for failure.

    Read more at our blog “The Wrong Way to Implement the Common Core” at

    • Josh Ritchie

      I read the link about the wrong way to implement common core but after searching your site I couldn’t find anything that “supported teachers through the implementation process.” Am I just missing it in my late night web surfing? What do you mean when you say support educators through the implementation of common core and where are these needed tools you are offering?

  • Ed Klopfenstein

    Mr. Luna said Common Core is a “Common Core is a state-led effort.”

    Let’s take away the billion plus in Federal “grants” and see if it remains a state-led effort. I doubt that without the Federal kicker that states would be interested in the standards change.

  • Ryan McGill

    “Luna — who defends the Idaho Core Standards as the product of a voluntary, state-led initiative…”

    Efforts to create the CCSS were not led by the State of Idaho nor by it’s educational institutions.

    ‘Gates Foundation Heavy Supporter Of Common Core.’
    Valerie Strauss writes at the Washington Post (5/13, Strauss) “Answer Sheet” blog that according to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s website, the foundation has given some $150 million in grants to benefit the Common Core Standards. She notes that the “grants were given for a range of reasons, including developing materials aligned to the standards and building support for the standards.”

    CCSS were not created by Idahoans; they were created by the the BILL AND MELINDA GATES FOUNDATION $$$$$$$.

    There is no evidence that CCSS will work.

    We need to diversify our educational offerings and stop with this ‘enhanced standardization.’

    Ryan McGill