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Rising legislative resistance to Common Core?

Here’s another sign that the 2014 Legislature may take another look at the Common Core standards approved three years ago.

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Sen. Steven Thayn, R-Emmett

State Sen. Steven Thayn has co-written a letter with Madison School District Superintendent Geoffrey Thomas, saying the state should drop the new Idaho Core Standards or allow districts to opt out. (Here’s a link to their letter, which appears in Idaho Education News’ Voices section.)

Among their concerns: They say the standards are unproven, were rolled out too rapidly and rely on an onerous assessment that will leave Idaho students feeling “intellectually inadequate.”

Thomas has already voiced his opposition to Common Core. As a member of Gov. Butch Otter’s education task force, Thomas voted against a recommendation endorsing Common Core. His was the only dissenting vote on any of the group’s 21 recommendations.

Thayn’s opposition is interesting; in January 2011, the Emmett Republican was a member of the House Education Committee that approved the Common Core standards with little fanfare, and on a voice vote.

And he isn’t the only lawmaker who seems to be having second thoughts about the standards. Last week, during a “listening tour” to weigh a possible run for governor, Meridian Republican Sen. Russell Fulcher suggested that the Legislature never considered the standards. But Fulcher was a member of the Senate Education Committee that approved the Common Core rule in 2011.

Acting on legislative and State Board of Education approval, Idaho schools are implementing Idaho Core Standards this fall.

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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