Image source

By Jason A. Kofoed

 

As most of you know by now, we here at Silly Sheeple are in staunch opposition to the Common Core Curriculum that 45 states have adopted and are in the process of implementing, including my home state of Idaho.  I recently emailed one of our state senators (Dean Mortimer, R-Idaho Falls) expressing my frustration with his firm, undying support of the curriculum but have yet to receive a response.  So, I decided to step it up a notch yesterday by emailing Idaho State Education Superintendent Tom R. Luna in like manner, including several links to articles I've posted right here on our website.  Much to my surprise (and disappointment) he replied back to me today reaffirming his support of and dedication to Common Core here in Idaho.  His email response is as follows:

On Friday, November 8, 2013 4:34 PM, Thomas R. Luna <trluna@sde.idaho.gov> wrote:

Mr. Kofoed, Idaho has exercised its right as a sovereign state in voluntarily adopting higher academic standards in math and English language arts. This is a voluntary, state-led effort. I know this because I was involved from the first day and remain involved today. I trust Idaho’s teachers, institutions of higher education, and representatives of the business community who vetted these standards in 2010 and told us these standards were higher and would better prepare every child to not only graduate from high school but to go on and be successful after high school. Unfortunately, Idaho’s previous standards were not accomplishing this for our students. I know we can do better for every child, and raising our academic standards is a giant step in that direction.
 
As you can imagine, I am speechless.  I've lived in Idaho for 20 years now, having moved up from Texas at the age of 18 and fresh out of high school.  When I first moved here, I remember how shocked I was at how lacking many of the locals were in the art of spelling, but it seemed to be more of a localized problem (Rigby High Graduates) rather than something state wide.  However, according to Mr. Luna's assessment, Common Core is set to "raise our academic standards" which means we're much worse off than I had previously thought.  Coincidentally, I also noticed an article posted on the website of our local ABC affiliate, LocalNews8, which is as follows:
 

Educators brace for dip in test scores with Common Core

POSTED: 09:37 PM MST Nov 07, 2013 
UPDATED: 03:43 PM MST Nov 08, 2013 


IDAHO FALLS, Idaho -

A new report from the Idaho State Department of Education predicts how students will perform with the more rigorous Common Core standards. The results show about 30 to 40 percent of students will perform at grade level in reading and math.

"The first year we expect to see a dip, we really do," said Rodd Rapp, achievement specialist at Summit Hills Elementary.

"We're always going to have a test that's stronger than our students can perform at," said Lyndon Oswald, principal at Sandcreek Middle School.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna said as Idaho raises its academic standards, schools should expect fewer students to reach grade level proficiency in the first few years.

"They're predicting only 30 percent of the students are going to be able to figure out this first year," said Oswald.

He said the number doesn't worry him.

"No, because if they put out a test that we pass then they're going to have to go back and do a new test, because how do we measure growth if we're always passing?" said Oswald.

At the elementary level, Rapp said he's not alarmed by the projections.

"If I were a parent and I saw the number, I wouldn't worry about it because this is something new and whenever something new is implemented there is a lot of unknown," said Rapp.

Oswald said he's seen his students improve on tests like the ISAT over the years and he's optimistic the same will happen with the common core.

"I think we'll gradually increase across the nation. There's going to be a huge learning curve. This is a brand-new type of testing. Don't underestimate the power of the students. They'll perform and they'll do well," said Oswald.

Common Core is being taught across grades K-12 in public schools. Students will first be tested against these new standards in the spring of 2015.

Idaho voluntarily adopted the common core state standards in math, English and literacy in 2011 as a way to make sure students are ready for college or the workforce when they graduate high school.

 

Like I said, speechless.  What do you do?  We do all we can to provide our own curriculum to our kids, whom my wife teaches in the home, but it saps your resources in nothing flat.  With the cost of living in general coupled with state and federal taxation, it makes it really, really difficult to get the job done.  These "elected officials" do not have our best interests at heart by any means so long as we are forced to pay into these public school programs carrying such sub-standard, propaganda-filled curriculum.