Report: Common Core Teacher Training Lags In Idaho

Dec 19, 2014

Idaho is doing a poor job of preparing educators to teach to Common Core standards, according to a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit.

Last week, the National Council on Teacher Quality gave Idaho a D+ grade for teacher preparedness. The average state grade was a C; only 10 states graded out lower than Idaho.

Idaho’s subpar grades are not really new. Idaho scored a D+ last year, up from a D in 2011 and 2012. But this latest grade comes as Idaho and more than 40 other states are implementing their new Common Core academic standards. The Idaho Core Standards have been in place since the fall of 2013. This spring, for the first time, tests aligned to Common Core will be used to measure student growth and school performance.

Despite the grade, outgoing State Superintendent Tom Luna says Idaho is “way ahead of the curve, compared to many other states.” For one thing, he said, time is on Idaho’s side. The state approved Common Core standards four years ago and is in its second year of implementation. Now, the state has ramped up its teacher certification guidelines, with the state’s colleges of education better preparing teachers to teach to the standards.

The NCTQ’s “State Teacher Policy Yearbook” criticizes Idaho on several fronts. But one recurring concern was a lack of testing: The NCTQ says elementary and middle school teachers should be required to pass a content test for each subject they teach, and similar standards should apply to high school science and social studies teachers.

The Idaho report is punctuated by some pointed exchanges between state officials and the NCTQ, a bipartisan group that bills itself as “an alternative national voice to existing teacher organizations.” Click here to continue reading this story from Idaho Education News.