Community Blog: The EDge

A preemptive strike in the Common Core debate

It’s no news that Senate Education Committee Chairman John Goedde and House Education Committee Chairman Reed DeMordaunt support Common Core.

For starters, the chairmen were two of 31 members of Gov. Butch Otter’s education task force — which overwhelmingly voiced support for the new mathematics and English language standards.

It is noteworthy, though, that Goedde and DeMordaunt launched a pre-emptive strike in support of the new Idaho Core Standards. In a letter to colleagues, Goedde and DeMordaunt urged the 2014 Legislature to “stay the course” and keep the new standards in place. “Now is not the time to go backwards.”

It’s also significant that Goedde and DeMordaunt used the occasion to remind legislators of the lengthy Common Core history. After Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna and other state counterparts drafted the standards, Idaho spent more than a year reviewing its version of the standards. In 2011, the House and Senate education committees OK’d a rule putting the standards in place. Wrote Goedde and DeMordaunt: “Some have claimed that the state should slow down because the standards were ‘rushed through.’ Yet, Idaho is three years into a six-year process of development and implementation.”

This is a less-than-subtle jab at some of the legislators who are most public in their opposition to Common Core — such as Sens. Russ Fulcher, R-Meridian, and Steven Thayn, R-Emmett. Both lawmakers had a chance to try to block the standards in committee in 2011, and neither did.

But it is apparent that Goedde and DeMordaunt are gearing up for a possible legislative battle over Common Core. Chalk up their letter to colleagues as a preemptive strike.

Kevin Richert is a reporter and blogger at Idaho Education News (idahoednews.org). Kevin is a former Statesman editorial page editor, with 27 year's experience in Idaho journalism.

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