Common Core opponents plan Boise conference

Opponents of educational standards coming to schools in Idaho and more than 40 other states this fall are planning a conference  to highlight their concerns for how it will affect education.

Two groups — Idahoans for Local Education and 912 Project Idaho — are bringing speakers from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 27 to the Boise Centre on the Grove.

Admission is $10. Tickets are available online. Legislators can attend at no cost.

Both organizations oppose Common Core, a set of education standards backers say will promote critical thinking and delve into subjects more deeply than schools have done in the past. Tom Luna, the state superintendent of public instruction who strongly backs the standards, has said Idaho can make some changes to the standards.

Speakers include:

Jane Robbins, a senior fellow with the American Principles Project in Washington, D.C., and co-author of a report “Controlling Education From the Top: Why Common Core is Bad for America.”

Sandra Stotsky, a former assistant commissioner at the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary  Education  where she oversaw developing or revising the state’s K-12 standards.

Ze’ev Wurman, a former adviser at the Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development in the U.S. Department of Education.

Stephanie Zimmerman, a mother of eight, founded Idahoans for Local Education last fall after she became concerned that Common Core standards for what children would learn, sap sovereignty from Idaho’s public education system and weaken what kids are learning.

“Our state schools are going to be figureheads in what is taught in the curriculum,” said Zimmerman, who decided to home-school her five school-aged kids this year rather than expose them to Common Core.

One of her goals is to meet with lawmakers and convince the Idaho Legislature to hit the pause button on implementing Common Core.

The 912 Project Idaho group started in 2009, named for the day after 9/11 when American was united. It’s a citizens advocacy group of about 900 people, many in the Treasure Valley, said president Valerie Candelaria.

The organization came out of commentator Glenn Beck’s calls for like-minded people to join together, she said.

She fears Idaho will lose control over the standards for what will be taught in Idaho.

Posted in In The Classroom