Friday, March 22, 2013

Idaho Core Standards - Blog From Idaho Education Network

What the New Idaho Core Standards Will Mean for Idaho Students

This fall, Idaho teachers will begin teaching new academic standards in mathematics and English language arts that are higher than Idaho’s previous standards and comparable with any other country in the world. 

These new Idaho Core Standards were adopted after a state-led effort referred to as the Common Core State Standards Initiative. Through this initiative, state governors and education chiefs came together to find a solution to a common problem they were all facing: while students were doing well in grades K-12, students were graduating from high school unprepared for the rigors of postsecondary education or the workforce. This challenge is all too real in Idaho, where just 47 percent of Idaho’s high school graduates go on to postsecondary education and, of those, nearly half need remediation once they get there. 

Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna and Governor Otter joined other states in working to develop more rigorous standards in mathematics and English language arts in 2009. This was a state-led effort. The U.S. Department of Education was not involved in any way. Idaho educators played a role in developing these standards. Once the standards were published in 2010, it was then up to each state to decide whether or not to adopt these standards. States took different paths to best meet the needs of their students. Virginia, for example, decided not to adopt the standards because it believed its standards were already rigorous enough. Other states chose to adopt just the math or just the English language arts standards. 

The State of Idaho followed the same process it follows every five years to review academic standards in every subject area and decide whether or not to adopt new standards. The Idaho State Department of Education brought in Idaho teachers to review these new, more rigorous standards in mathematics and English language arts. A comprehensive gap analysis showed a strong correlation between Common Core State Standards and current Idaho state standards with a 70 percent match, but the Common Core State Standards were higher and deeper than previous standards. 

Idaho’s colleges and universities also weighed in, telling us that students will be ready for postsecondary education if they master these standards. We also asked the business community in Idaho to take a look at these standards during the review process. The Department held regional public meetings across the state to gather input from educators, parents and Idaho citizens. The Idaho State Board of Education held an open public comment period as well. 

In 2010, based on all of this input and feedback, the State Board of Education chose to adopt these standards as Idaho’s new content standards in mathematics and English language arts. The Idaho Legislature gave final approval to adopt these standards as our new state standards in 2011. They are now Idaho’s Core Standards in mathematics and English language arts and part of Idaho’s Content Standards for all subject areas. 

These standards, just like standards in every other content area, are the goals the state sets for what every child should know and be able to do by the end of each grade level. The state still only sets the standards. It remains up to each local school board to adopt curriculum, which is the textbook or other materials a teacher will use in the classroom to teach these standards. 

Ultimately, the Idaho State Board of Education and Idaho Legislature have oversight of these standards. As with any standards, these standards can change in the future as the state reviews academic standards every five years. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Supplemental Levy Passes

On Behalf of the School Board, Administration, Students and Staff of Genesee School District, I would like to thank you for supporting our 2013 Supplemental Levy.

Your support enables the district to continue to provide the quality education that our students will need to be successful. Your "yes" vote continues to show students and others that education is valued among the community. By supporting public education you are enabling us to be able to provide our students with skills and tools to be successful in the future.

As District Superintendent, I appreciate your support and hope to continue to be able to provide our children with the quality education that our children deserve and need. It is a pleasure to be a member of such a strong, supportive community.

Our school district wouldn't be the great institution it is today without such great community support. Thank you for voting YES!

Wendy Moore Superintendent