Boise trustee decries Common Core ‘hysteria’

The tweet of the day comes from Troy Rohn, a Boise School Board member.

Troy Rohn

Troy Rohn

“Let the Common Core hysteria begin,” Rohn wrote Tuesday. “The (Boise School District) strongly believes in (Common Core State Standards) and the long-term benefits it will have for our students.”

Rohn was responding to Monday’s Idaho Education News story on Common Core — and the Idaho congressional delegation’s position on the controversial standards. Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, said he sympathized with efforts to cut off federal funding for the standards — although Risch stopped short of signing Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley’s letter seeking to block Common Core spending.

Idaho has not received any federal funding for implementation of the math and English language arts standards. Idaho Core Standards implementation will begin in Idaho schools this fall, with assessments to follow in 2014-15.

Other tidbits on the Common Core front:

A “voluntary effort.” On Monday, the state Department of Education released an April 23 letter from assistant education secretary Deborah S. Delisle to state superintendent Tom Luna. The letter reinforces one of Luna’s key arguments for Common Core, an initiative he has supported since 2007; the states have driven this process.

“The authority for adoption of academic content standards resides with each state agency and not (the Education Department),” wrote Delisle. “(The Education Department) recognizes and acknowledges that the Common Core Standards is a state-led initiative and supports this voluntary effort.”

Waiting on Labrador. Still no comment on the Common Core controversy from 1st District Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho. His would be an interesting take; if there’s anything to the rumor mill (from earlier this year, at least), the second-term congressman has been looking at coming back to Idaho to run for governor.

Labrador spokesman Michael Tate says he’s working on a statement; when we get it, we’ll post it.


  • Lisa Fisher

    “Voluntary effort” is such a twist of the truth. The federal government dangled the carrot of the Race to the Top funds in front of the states, along with a list of things the states needed to do in order to be eligible for those funds. High on that list was to “voluntarily” submit to the Common Core Standards. The states agreed to those standards BEFORE the standards were ever even written. The standards were not written by educators, but by businessmen. Many of the educators who evaluated the standards have refused to sign off on them because they are so bad. There was no “test-run” of these standards, to know whether they actually improve education. Oh, and quietly included in these standards is the agreement by each state to implement a data tracking program to collect over 400 points of information on each student. Known as P20 (pre-school to 20 years) these data tracking systems are designed to follow each student, so that they can be “guided” into appropriate post-high school paths. This information will be personally identifiable (the student’s name WILL be attached to it). But what about FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) you may ask. Oh yeah, they quietly rewrote the FERPA laws to say that the school now has the right to distribute this personally identifiable information to anyone whom they deem “needs” it—including private corporations who are conducting “research.” Rohn and others like him can scream that this was a “voluntary effort” until they are hoarse. The fact that Idaho signed onto this “voluntarily” does NOT mean it’s okay.