Common Core On The Outs With Idaho House Education Committee

Feb 6, 2020

Common Core, a set of public school standards adopted by several states across the country, is one step closer to no longer being a reality in Idaho.

The 10-5 vote to cut these standards by the House Education Committee Wednesday came after weeks of delay. The majority of those who testified during public hearings last month, including teachers and school administrators, said they supported these standards that were adopted in 2011.

But lawmakers on the committee, like Rep. Dorothy Moon (R-Stanley), said they’ve heard from parents in their districts who can’t help their kids with their math homework, among other concerns.

“There’s no way we’re putting kids out who are capable of going to college,” Moon said. “It’s a horrible cycle we’ve gotten ourselves into and we need to break the cycle.”

Rep. Bill Goesling (R-Moscow) recalled his former career as a naval officer before voting against these benchmarks. Goesling said they had to follow strict standards to keep pilots safe, but …

“[But] every time we did have an individual loss we went back and reexamined the standards. We were not afraid to throw them out and reexamine them and rebuild them.”

Some Republicans said they wanted to see tweaks made to these benchmarks. But Rep. Jerald Raymond (R-Menan) said that should be done next year when standards for math and English are up for their normally-scheduled review.

“I have tried to find the boogyman in these standards and, so far, I have not found a boogyman,” Raymond said.

In addition to Common Core, the committee also slashed all standards teaching students about climate change – a battle that’s waged on for years here.

All three Democrats voted against the cuts.

The issue now rests with the Senate Education Committee, which can adopt the changes or reject them and keep the standards in place. It's unclear when they might take it up, but Sen. Dean Mortimer (R-Idaho Falls), who chairs the committee, said in an email he's hopeful that they will take it up next week.

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