Your voice on Common Core needs to be heard now

Filed in Uncategorized by on October 12, 2020 0 Comments

This is long but very , very important. Please read to the end and don’t forget to sign the petition. Then please share it with your friends and family.

By National Education Guardians

OCT 9, 2020 — 

Here is an update on what is happening with the Common Core Standards and Region 17’s involvement:

We now have over 200 signatures on our petition.  Thank you!  And it has caught the attention of Senator Thayn, who responded in a Facebook post -see below.  And below that is a reply to his post from an actual member serving on one of the Common Core subcommittees, who brings an important light to this situation. 

Yes, we have a good start!  Even Region 17, coordinating our education standard committees, just now took down their Black Lives Matter sign on their website, although their pledge to the cause is the same.

We need to continue to keep their attention and not stop until they agree to follow the state legislative directive to “replace Common Core” and “remove the SBAC”.

  Please email this link to your concerned friends and ask them to sign and share our petition to citizens all over the state of Idaho. The future of the education of Idaho’s children are depending on our efforts.

Thank you, again.

Here is the link to the petition.

Facebook Post from Sen Thayn:

Comments about the current Idaho Content Standards review process by Senator Thayn:

I have read a couple of posts about Common Core and the rewrite of the Idaho Content Standards.  I would like to add a little context. 

First, we are in the process of changing the standards.

Second, we can change, add, eliminate anything that we want to.  The real question is what changes need to be made.

Third, Region 17 is involved in the process; however, in my subcommittee which is the ELA 6th thru 8th grade, she did not vote, she did not have any input, and I don’t even know what her role was.  While I believe Black Lives Matters is a dangerous organization, they have nothing to do with rewriting the standards nor does Region 17 seem to have any input into the actual work.

Fourth, my subcommittee voted not to have a reading list.  This should be left up to local school districts.

Fifth, the math subcommittee did not use the Idaho math standards as a starting point.  They decided to use Massachusetts instead.

Sixth, the subcommittees are following the direction of the legislature laid out in a letter that I and others wrote that addressed most of the concerns expressed by citizens.

Finally, there will be several times that the public can comment on the rewrite of the standards.  The first will be in the winter of 2021.  I look forward to working with anyone that is interested.

Reply by Sonya Harris, who is currently serving on the Idaho Content Review Committee:

I appreciate Senator Thayn for his comments about the current process to replace the Idaho Content Standards, better known as Common Core. Certainly, he can understand the frustration and concern of many Idahoans surrounding this topic. We have been told before that the standards had been changed. In fact, our superintendent of public instruction, Sherri Ybarra, said that she personally oversaw the rewrite of the standards years ago, yet, the current standards are 99% identical to Common Core.

Along with these standards comes a mandate to use 50% nonfiction texts in grades 4 and above and a suggested book list that contains pornographic texts. There are also unproven methods being required in geometry and a lack of emphasis on the memorization of basic math facts. Our current standards have never been shown to improve student outcomes. In fact, Idaho students continue to fall short when compared with other states.

Senator Thayn claims that Region 17, the group that supports Black Lives Matter, and has been appointed by the state department of education to assist in the standards rewrite, is not really involved in the process of revising the standards. His comment about their representative who joined his review committee was, “I don’t even know what her role was.”

Perhaps Senator Thayn should refer to the pledge that is found on the Region 17 website that states in part, “We believe the racism and injustice that are so apparent … in cities across our nation are largely driven by fear and ignorance, as well as systems and institutions based on white supremacy. It is the responsibility of white Americans to recognize that fear and ignorance and to address it with deeper knowledge and understanding. Education is on the front lines of this effort.”

I do not believe that most Idahoans would be comfortable having Region 17 involved in any way with the education of their children. Do we really need help from an out-of-state group? Has Region 17 been successful at helping any other state rid themselves of Common Core? Is there any proof that their efforts have led to an increase in student learning? What makes them a good choice to help with Idaho standards?

I serve on the review committee for English Language Arts grades 3-5. I have been concerned at the process that is being used on this committee. The state department of education coordinators are running the show. They set the agenda and control the narrative. Remember, these are the employees of Sherri Ybarra, who has been less than honest about the Idaho standards in the past. The Region 17 crew is also monitoring the committee meetings. When I bring up that I want to discuss the book list in our committee, I am told it is not on the agenda. When I ask to hear proof that we need so much emphasis on nonfiction texts, I am told again, it is not on the agenda.

It is great that Senator Thayn is willing to work with anyone who wants input on these standards. I would suggest that he start with any of the more than 200 Idahoans who have signed the petition to replace Common Core in Idaho. They have real concerns about what needs to be changed. They deserve to be heard. Their input is surely as valuable as anyone from Region 17.

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