What are the Idaho Core Standards?
The Idaho Core Standards are a set of higher expectations in math and English that were developed by state leaders to ensure that every student graduates high school prepared for the future. These new standards are replacing Idaho’s old set of expectations for students. Teaching and learning focus on critical thinking, strong writing skills, and problem solving – the real world skills that students need upon graduation.
Why did Idaho adopt the new standards?
Idaho chose to set higher expectations for students by adopting these standards in 2011. Our state’s policymakers, legislators, businesses leaders, and parents were concerned that Idaho students are not be prepared for college and the workforce under the old, lower standards. This concern came out of results showing that while Idaho students were passing our state exams, they were requiring additional help when entering college.
How will students benefit from the Idaho Core Standards?
By moving to the Idaho Core Standards, Idaho is ensuring that our students are held to the same high expectations as students across the country. The new standards focus on developing students’ critical thinking, problem-solving, and writing skills – real world skills that students need to be successful in today’s workforce. In addition, Idaho’s new standards focus on a deeper understanding of materials, not just basic memorization and test-taking skills. Finally, the new standards are clear and focused, allowing teachers to explore important topics in depth with students, rather than skimming the surface of numerous topics to prepare students for tests.
What is the connection between standards and curriculum in Idaho?
The Idaho Core Standards set goals for what students should know in each grade, but they are not a curriculum. Local school districts will continue to customize and choose their own curricula and textbooks in order to best prepare their students for success. If the standards represent the finish line or final destination, the curriculum represents the different paths that can be taken to get there.