New Bill Seeks to Allow Districts to Dump Common Core in Idaho

Rep. Ronald Nate

Rep. Ronald Nate (R-Rexburg) has introduced a bill that would allow districts to dump Common Core State Standards (CCSS), and replace them with…well that part isn’t quite clear.

The bill doesn’t change the fact that Idaho has adopted CCSS as the state’s content standards. Instead, in a curious workaround, the bill’s text states that if Idaho embraces CCSS, then districts have the prerogative to express their displeasure of that decision by dropping CCSS and replacing it with standards of the local district’s choosing.

The second bit in the bill, in my opinion, is the real juicy part: it would allow districts who drop CCSS the freedom to also choose a new curriculum of their choice that aligns with whatever standards they have chose.

In other words, what text would one like to use as curriculum? As long as the local board gives the thumbs up, it’s approved.

For local control advocates, this bill has a lot to offer by placing control of content and curriculum within the local board.

However, don’t get your hopes up.  Rep. Nate has used a “personal privilege” mechanism to introduce this bill.  Similar to Winston Smith’s “memory tube” in the novel 1984, bills introduced via this alternative method rarely see the light of day in contrast to a typical committee hearing and vote.

However, if the bill develops any real momentum it would force a dialogue that Idaho has so far refused to have: If not common core, then…what?  

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