Letters supporting Idaho Core Standards keep coming this week.
The latest entry is a point-by-point response by the State Department of Education to an Oct. 17 letter by state Sen. Steven Thayn, R-Emmett, and Madison School District Superintendent Geoffrey M. Thomas. The pair criticized the standards as untested and having the potential for educational stagnation. They called for slowing down the implementation process which began this school year.
Idaho Core Standards are the state’s version of Common Core State Standards, a common set of goals adopted by 45 states for what students should know and be able to do in math and language arts before they graduate from high school.
Tom Luna, state superintendent of public instruction, argued that student learning is improving in states where Common Core State Standards have already been in effect.
Luna’s response also seeks to dispel concern that personal student data will be transferred to the federal government through the state’s achievement test process.
The department sent the letter to Thayn and Thomas before making it public.
The department’s letter follows an open letter to lawmakers supporting Common Core from State Sen. John Goedde, R-Coeur d’Alene, and State Rep. Reed DeMourdant, R-Eagle, the Senate and House education committee chairmen earlier this week.
Their letter came as concern rises that some lawmakers could push to derail the Idaho Core Standards the legislature adopted in 2011.
The Idaho Department of Education officials said release of the two letters is a coincidence. Department of Education officials were already at work on a response to Thayn’s and Thomas’ letter when they learned the letter by the two chairmen was coming.
Here is the copy of the State Department of Education’s response. The state’s response is in red.