Creating Higher Academic Standards Across the State of Idaho

This post was written by: Rod Gramer

In an op-ed with the CDA Press last year, I was asked to outline the Idaho Core Standards and address why it is so important for Idahoans to embrace the Common Core. In this article, I stated:

“Idaho Core Standards is our state’s version of Common Core. Idaho Core Standards raises the bar for students to perform better in math and reading, and also provides tools for all those higher expectations to be met. The standards are higher and so is accountability.” – Source

Since its inception, the Common Core and Idaho Core Standards have become targets due to a number of different factors. Misinformation has caused many of the objections, and continues to be a major factor in the opposition of the Common Core. Without proper understanding of the Idaho Core Standards, it is impossible to see the greater vision and what the state hopes to accomplish through the initiative. Our goal is simple: we want nothing more than to give the Idaho Core Standards a chance to improve the performance of Idaho students.

While support for the Common Core has been strong, inevitably there will be opposition. Those who don’t understand the goals of the Common Core program or are opposed to one facet of the curriculum are raising the flag against the Common Core. In a recent op-ed, Melanie Vander Feer shared her thoughts in a piece titled, “Resolution Against Common Core.” In her article, Vander Feer shares:

“Just a few months ago I knew very little about common core. After learning what it was all about, I have vowed to do everything I can to stop it in Idaho. […] What exactly is Common Core? Due to the fact that it is unlawful to have a federal curriculum, President Obama’s administration broke three federal laws when implementing Common Core. The government’s goal is to monopolize control of the children in order to train them to be good little global citizens. There will be a lack of control by local districts and parents. No one will be exempt: home school, private or charter schools. It will teach them what to think, not how to think.”

This is not what the Core Standards are attempting to accomplish. In fact, the Idaho Core Standards will help enhance the education of our students by raising academic standards across the state. In addition to raising the bar for traditional academia, the Standards also aim to help students improve a variety of soft skills, which employers around the country are looking for. From understanding how to work as a team to improving communication skills, the Idaho Core Standards will help better prepare students for life after school.

Near the end of last month, Michael J. Petrilli shared nine questions for those who oppose the Common Core. The article does a great job of highlighting the correct questions to ask when attempting to identify which areas of the Common Core someone opposes, as oftentimes the opposition is based around one facet and not the Standards as a whole.

While most other states are championing forward the cause of the Common Core, there are some states that have preemptively changed course before seeing how the changes can positively affect statewide education. States that are further along in the process, such as Kentucky, are already seeing rapid growth in education standards and the percentage of students that are accepted into post-high school education.

Let’s give the Idaho Core Standards an opportunity to prove their worth. We will never be able to collectively raise academic standards within the state if we don’t give programs like the Idaho Core Standards a chance to succeed.

This post was written by:
Rod Gramer

Rod Gramer