Idaho puts up millions for Core training

Idaho has put millions of dollars into training instructors in teaching  Idaho Core Standards.

Training teachers is shaping up as a key issue in the success the standards, which were rolled out into district in fall and outline what students should know before they graduate.

The standards are  Idaho’s versions of Common Core State Standards adopted in 45 states and Washington D.C.

Core critics complain that lack of training means the state is launching on a trajectory that changes public education without a sure route on where they are headed or how they are going to get there.

And Linda Clark, Meridian School District superintendent, says the 1,700-plus teachers in her district need more training in understanding how the assessment based on Idaho Core Standards works.

The assessment will be used in 2014-2015 to gauge student, school and district academic performance.

“Any implementation of a new set of standards in K-12 is a huge task,” Linda Clark told the Idaho Statesman last week.

“It takes some time for teachers to fully grasp all the nuances.”

Against this backdrop, the state has put millions of dollars into training instructors. This year, Idaho will spend  $17.5 million on Idaho Core Standards training.

For 2014-2015, legislative budget writers proposed $15.8 million in teacher awards, some of which could go to paying instructors who teach Idaho Core Standards  professional development. An additional $12 million — $9.4 of which goes directly to districts — is planned for Idaho Core Standards professional development. Lawmakers also proposed $4 million for purchase of instructional materials.

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