This morning, representatives from the State Department of Education spoke to the House Education Committee on the Common Core standards. Their presentation focused on the background and goals of the standards; however, there was little discussion regarding teacher professional development in preparation for the rollout of the standards in all Idaho classrooms that begins in fall 2013. Idaho has adopted the English language arts and math standards which are more rigorous than the existing Idaho standards. The SDE, through the rulemaking process, sets the minimum standards that all school districts must adhere to; local school districts choose the textbooks and other curricular materials they will use to help students achieve those minimum standards.
The Idaho Core standards were created in 2009. In the years since then, the SDE has conducted public outreach activities. According to the timeline shared at today’s meeting, teachers and administrators will continue to receive professional development this school year. The standards will be fully implemented the following year, and during the 2015 school year, students will be tested on the standards.
Idaho belongs to the Smarter Balanced Consortium, a group of 25 states that is creating the assessments that Idaho will use. You can find a set of sample test items at http://www.smarterbalanced.org/.