As a key partner in the Idahoans for Education Excellence, the IEA recently put together panel discussions on the Idaho Core Standards for media outlets in Boise and Idaho Falls. These events were designed to provide accurate information about the Idaho Core Standards from people with first-hand knowledge of the Standards’ implementation. In Boise, IEA member Kendra Wisenbaker (Meridian) outlined how the Idaho Core Standards are impacting learning in her fifth grade classroom. At the Idaho Falls event, Stefani Cook shared the teacher’s viewpoint with the media. KTVB-Channel 7 led their 10:00 news with a story on the Boise Idaho Core Standards event, and the Idaho State Journal ran an extensive story on the discussion in Idaho Falls.
Q – What are the Idaho Core Standards (Common Core State Standards)?
A – A single set of educational standards for K-12 students in English language arts and mathematics that are voluntarily adopted by states.
Q – Why does Idaho need the Standards?
A – More rigorous standards are necessary to ensure that Idaho students are ready for college and/or career.
Q – Were teachers involved in the development of Common Core?
A – Yes. The National Education Association, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the National Council of Teachers of English were among several educational organizations that participated in developing the Common Core State Standards.
Q – Do the Idaho Core Standards tell teachers what or how to teach?
A – The Standards have established what skills and knowledge students will be required to learn, but do not specify what methods or curricula will be used. Local districts and individual teachers have considerable autonomy in designing the best curricula and lessons for students to achieve the goals of the Idaho Core Standards.
Q – When do the Idaho Core Standards go into effect?
A – The Standards are in place beginning with the current (2013-2014) school year.
Q – Will there be testing associated with the Idaho Core Standards?
A – Yes. However, the exact procedure and timeline for testing related to the Idaho Core Standards is still being discussed. Idaho is among a group of states that belongs to the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. This consortium of states will be field-testing the new test questions in the spring of 2014.
Q – Where can I find more information about the Idaho Core Standards?
A – Two good resources for additional information about the Standards are: