IEA Hotline—January 10, 2020
“Next verse, same as the first. A little bit louder and a little bit worse.”
Extremist groups are once again targeting the Idaho Content Standards during this legislative session. The House Education Committee will be holding hearings with public comment opportunities next week. These hearings will once again be held during school hours, but we encourage professional educators to attend if they have flexibility in their schedules. The hearings will be on the bottom floor of the capitol in room EW 41 and will follow this schedule:
- Wednesday, January 15, 9:00 a.m. English and Language Arts Standards
- Thursday, January 16, 9:00 a.m. Math Standards
- Monday, January 20, 9:00 a.m. Science Standards
You can also contact members of the education committees by email to let them know you support the Idaho Content Standards—and why.
Whether you are testifying in person or submitting comments through email, preface your statement for the record with “My comments are in support of IDAPA Rule 08.02.03 Rules Governing Thoroughness, Section 4, Subsection 1”. Click here for a sample template of how emails can be constructed.
There are plenty of good reasons for retaining the standards. Here are just a few.
- The current Idaho Content Standards were developed by Idaho education professionals and are automatically reviewed every few years on a rotating basis.
- The standards are aligned with college and career expectations, which paves the way for students to succeed in post-secondary education and in the workplace.
- They detail what students should know and be able to do at various stages of their academic careers, but do not prescribe specific curricula or how educators should present material.
Educators are encouraged to present first-hand accounts of how the standards are applied in the classroom and benefit students. We are the experts in education and legislators should #AskaTeacher if they want to make informed decisions about education policy.
The voices of parents are also crucial to this discussion. We need them to weigh-in with legislators as well, letting them know that the Idaho Content Standards help Idaho be competitive with students from other states and overturning them will lead to confusion and chaos. Contrary to what you might hear from the extremist groups, the standards are not tied to any political agenda or ideology.
The content standards, along with all of Idaho’s legislative rules, are open for debate because the legislature declined to renew them at the end of the last session. The Idaho State Board of Education held a series of public hearings around the state where they received public testimony on the Idaho Content Standards. Professional educators showed up in force to defend the standards, delivering thoughtful, relevant insight about how they help in the teaching and learning dynamic.
For more information and context about the upcoming legislative battle over the Idaho Content Standards, read this story from Clark Corbin and Kevin Richert of Idaho Education News.
Status Quo for Education Committees
There are no changes in the makeup of the education committees for the 2020 session. The House Education Committee will continue to be chaired by Rep. Lance Clow, R-Twin Falls, with Rep. Ryan Kerby, R-New Plymouth, serving as the vice-chair. The full roster for the House Education Committee can be found here.
Sen. Dean Mortimer, R-Idaho Falls will again serve as the Chairman of the Senate Education Committee. This will be his final year in the legislature, as he has already announced he will not seek reelection. Sen. Steven Thayne, R-Emmett, will be the vice-chair. The full Senate Education Committee roster is available here.