Statewide meetings set on science standards

When legislators killed a rewrite of science standards earlier this year, they suggested Idahoans were shut out of the process.

This month, the State Department of Education will hold six public meetings to discuss the academic standards. It’s the first step, before the department tries to convince the 2017 Legislature to update school standards.

SDE logoThe state hopes to update standards in eight subjects, from English language arts to math to physical education — something the state does, subject by subject, on a six-year rotating basis. But the House and Senate education committees got hung up this year on the science standards, taking the unusual step of rejecting an agency rule that would have updated these standards.

Some lawmakers said the public comment process was lacking — although it appeared that the State Board of Education had followed the public comment process.

Some lawmakers questioned the standards themselves, if tangentially. The proposed science standards addressed topics such as the age of the earth, evolution and humans’ role in climate change — subjects that already appear in the current standards.

  • April 18. Coeur d’Alene, Best Western Plus Coeur d’Alene Inn, 506 W. Appleway Ave.
  • April 19. Lewiston, Red Lion Hotel Lewiston, 621 21st St.
  • April 21. Idaho Falls, Hampton Inn Idaho Falls Airport, 645 Lindsay Blvd.
  • April 22. Pocatello, Hampton Inn, 151 Vista Drive.
  • April 25. Boise, Red Lion Downtowner, 1800 W. Fairview Ave.

At these meetings, the State Department of Education will also take public comments on a variety of other rules — addressing topics from school bullying to advanced academic opportunities. Click here for the full list, and links to the proposed rules.

Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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