By Levi B Cavener
Idaho is fired up. Lawmakers need to take note; Idahoans kind of have a record of banding together and overruling their state leaders when they are angry (Luna Laws anyone?), and it seems that of late there are some really angry folks. Pitchforks are in high demand at local hardware stores.
Education experts across the country, including education policy rock star Diane Ravitch, have written extensively about a variety of factors that causes their opposition to the standards. Opposition is not partisan and includes powerful organizations such as the CATO Institute.
Included in these arguments is a lack of field testing/research establishing validity of the new standards, a backdoor approach in which the federal government for the first time in our nation’s history is determining curriculum in states by only dishing out cash to states that adopt the standards through the “Race to the Top” program, an emphasis on expository over fictional texts, a continued emphasis on high stakes testing, linking teacher evaluation to test data, concern that the standards and the test are not necessarily appropriate for English language learners and students with disabilities, and…well…this could go on for awhile.
Yes. Coffee houses are becoming staging grounds to organize. Disparate groups are banding together with a shared goal. The public is turning out in numbers to fill legislative hearings to capacity. Yes, discourse is getting louder by the day.
So will they listen this time? Make your voice heard. Let legislators know how you feel and feel free to share your opinion here on Idaho’s Promise.
We might even have something of our own brewing…stay tuned.