IEA Hotline—January 17, 2020
The scaffolding that provides guidance to K-12 teaching and learning, the Idaho Content Standards, is essentially on trial during the early part of the 2020 legislative session. The House Education Committee is the first to take up the renewal process for the standards, holding public hearings on the English and Language Arts standards and the math standards this week.
A third hearing, this one on Idaho’s science standards, is expected to take place Tuesday or Wednesday. Late Friday, the House Education Committee postponed that hearing from its scheduled Monday slot. Given the moving target of the science standards hearing, it is even more vital that you contact members of the committee by phone and/or email to let them know you support retaining the Idaho Content Standards in their current form.
IEA members were out in force this week to testify in support of the current standards and urge the committee to retain them. “I am so proud of the professionalism our members showed in sharing their insight with the committee,” says IEA President Layne McInelly. “They were thoughtful, articulate, and able to showcase specific examples of why the standards are important and how they help with student learning.”
Here is a small sampling of what our members told the committee.
Julia Withers, Caldwell Education Association
“The standards create a progression of skills and hold me accountable.”
Erin Murillo, Fruitland Education Association
“The Idaho Content Standards are unifiers that provide scaffolding and fundamental skills.”
Peggy Hoy, Twin Falls Education Association
“The Idaho Content Standards compel me to hone-in on what my students need and explore ways to ensure they are able to deeply understand the concepts.”
“The standards challenge students to think mathematically and also require them to implement other life skills such as writing and verbalizing their mathematical strategies.”
Sonia Galaviz, Boise Education Association
“I am dismayed at the illusion of dysfunction over the standards.”
“It’s about the kids. My students are more prepared and ready to learn and have a deeper understanding of the subject matter.”
“My time would be better spent not having to defend my practice. We should focus on collaboration, time, resources, funding, and support if we want better outcomes.”
Megan Bell, Boise Education Association
“I am saving hours of instructional time because students are coming to me stronger and better prepared than before the Idaho Content Standards were in place.”
Sue Darden, West Ada Education Association
“Standards are not the same as strategies.”
“There are other reasons ISAT scores may have leveled off. School budgets were cut because of the recession about the same time as the standards were implemented. I had to teach math for nine years without a textbook.”
All Education Stakeholder Groups Support the Idaho Content Standards
Every education stakeholder group has come out in support of retaining the content standards as they are currently written. In addition to the IEA, the Idaho School Boards Association, the Idaho Association of School Administrators, the State Board of Education, the State Department of Education, and Idaho Business for Education are all on record in support of the standards.
Proving that politics does indeed make strange bedfellows, even longtime IEA nemesis Tom Luna, Idaho’s former Superintendent of Public Instruction, testified in support of the Idaho Content Standards this week.
Content Standards Draw the Attention of Media
Several Idaho media outlets have covered the hearings on the Idaho Content Standards this week.
Click here for a report from KTVB, Channel 7 in Boise.
KBOI-TV, Channel 2 in Boise also covered the hearings.
Idaho Education News also had a story on Thursday’s hearing on math standards.
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