A group of Idaho businessmen and women, educators and politicians — whose members have stood in opposition on other education issues — has formed a coalition to support the successful implementation of Idaho Core Standards.
The standards were developed with the support of state schools superintendent Tom Luna. The coalition includes the Idaho Education Association and Idaho Parents and Teachers Together, two groups that instigated the repeal of Luna’s Students Come First laws.
“Our coalition represents all the major stakeholders who care about the success of Idaho’s students — parents, teachers, school administrators, child-advocate groups and the business community,” said Skip Oppenheimer, chairperson of Idaho Business for Education (IBE), a nonprofit group that helped organize the coalition.
Other members of the coalition include the Meridian and Boise school districts, the two largest districts in Idaho, and college and university presidents.
“Our goal is college and career readiness for every student. The Idaho Core Standards provide a framework for curriculum instruction, and assessment that will facilitate this goal,” said Linda Clark, superintendent of the Meridian district.
Bert Glandon, president of the College of Western Idaho, said: “Nearly three out of every four students who enroll in Idaho’s community colleges need extra time and instruction to get ready for the courses required to complete a degree. Clearly the old standards are not working for our children. The new Idaho Core Standards are more rigorous and forward-thinking standards that ensure students are prepared for success when they graduate from high school.”
Every Idaho teacher is required to teach to Idaho Core Standards this fall. They were approved by the State Board of Education in the fall of 2010 and approved by the Legislature in 2011. Since then, Idaho teachers and school districts have been developing curriculum to start teaching to the standards.
Meanwhile, opposition to the standards has grown more vocal in recent months. Two anti-Common Core groups, Idahoans for Local Education and the 9-12 Project of Idaho, are hosting an information event Saturday morning in downtown Boise.
“We expect to get far more to join in the support of these new standards,” said Rod Gramer, executive of the IBE. “A lot of folks want to be a part of it.”
Here is a list of the groups that have formed Idahoans for Excellence in Education:
Idaho Business for Education
Idaho Education Association
Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry
Idaho Parents and Teachers Together
Treasure Valley Education Partnership
Emmett School District
Meridian Joint School District
Boise School District
Idaho State Alliance of YMCAs
Idaho Voices for Children
Meridian Chamber of Commerce
Greater Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce
Idaho Leads Project
Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children
Idaho State Board of Education
Idaho President’s Council (representing Idaho’s college and university presidents)
Idaho Digital Learning
Disclaimer: Idaho Education News and Idaho Leads Project are both funded by a grant from the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation. Both are housed at Boise State University.