House Education Committee Chairman Reed DeMordaunt said he wants to explore ways the Idaho Leads Project could help educators prepare for teaching Common Core standards next year.
DeMordaunt, R-Eagle, invited Idaho Leads Project co-director Roger Quarles to meet with his committee and offer a presentation about the organization’s work.
“My goal is to educate the committee on the amazing things the Leads Project is doing,” DeMordaunt said. “I’d certainly like to talk about us looking at other areas and needs within the state that – no pun intended – Leads could take the lead on.”
Launched by Boise State University with funding from the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation, the Idaho Leads Project is a professional development team that works with 49 Idaho school districts and charter schools. The goals of the Idaho Leads Project are to support improvement in education and highlight best practices.
DeMordaunt has backed plans to spend some of the $33.9 million set aside for Gov. Butch Otter’s education task force on professional development and implementation of Common Core standards.
“As a nation, I see our competitive advantage has been, and continues to be, the ability to think creatively,” DeMordaunt said. “This enhances that (through) the way Common Core is taught.”
In 2009, Idaho joined 47 other states in committing to developing Common Core proficiency standards for language arts and math. The state’s timeline calls for continued professional development this school year to prepare for the new standards. During the 2013-14 school year, Common Core standards will be taught in K-12 schools for the first time.
Although officials with the Idaho State Department of Education have taken the lead on Common Core, DeMordaunt said legislators should provide oversight to the process, explore available resources and ensure implementation “is the right fit for Idaho.”
DeMordaunt said “there is no question” the Idaho Leads Project would be an asset to helping Idaho educators implement Common Core.
“(Idaho Leads) has developed some capability in terms of change management, and I think that experience would really help us with Common Core,” DeMordaunt said. “The fact is it’s a great resource that we ought to be looking at in terms of Common Core.”
On Monday Quarles is scheduled to present in front of the House Education Committee at 9 a.m. and the Senate Education Committee at 3 p.m.
Quarles also serves as an assistant professor of education leadership at Boise State University.
Disclosure: The Idaho Leads Project heads up Idaho Education News, which also is funded by a grant from the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation.