By Ryan McGoldrick
House Education Committee rejects science standards, despite public support
Feb. 6, 2020
Yesterday, the House Education Committee voted to strip away all Idaho educational standards, including science, math, and English. The vote came after a series of Committee hearings where Idaho teachers, parents, and the public came out in droves to support
As a quick refresher, Idaho’s science standards were developed by experienced and award-winning Idaho teachers and written specifically for Idaho students. These standards are based on the most up-to-date science performance standards that prepare students for higher education and good-paying science and technology jobs. The House Education Committee has now attempted to undermine these standards in four of the last five sessions.
For a full background on science standards and details on what’s at stake, refer back to our Speak Up for Science! page. For an overview of the House public testimony, where there was overwhelmingly support of maintaining our science standards, please refer to our Science Standards blog from January 23rd.
Common core or Idaho-based standards?
On Wednesday, the Idaho House rejected not just science standards, but those for English/language arts and math. Those who opposed the educational standards created by Idaho’s teachers attacked “Common Core.” Science standards are not a part of common core though, which only include English and math. Common core seems to have become an erroneous catch-all phrase for any perceived issues with Idaho education.
“If you don’t like the test scores, blame common core. If you can’t help your kids with their math homework, blame common core.” -Representative Berch
The Final Numbers
Ten Representatives voted to reject science and education standards: Boyle (Midvale), DeMordaunt (Eagle), Shepherd (Riggins), Mendive (Coeur d’Alene), Moon (Stanley), Ehardt (Idaho Falls), Goesling (Moscow), Marshall (Idaho Falls), Raymond (Menan), Wisniewski (Post Falls)
Five Representatives voted to support science and education standards: Chairman Clow (Twin Falls), Kerby (Plymouth), McCrostie (Boise), Abernathy (Pocatello), and Berch (Boise).
Although, we’re disappointed the House decided to ignore Idaho teachers and families, it’s not over yet for Idaho educational standards.
How the Legislature currently works, both the House and Senate need to vote for stripping away the standards for any administrative rule to be removed entirely. The Senate Education Committee will now consider the science, math, and English standards next week. We’ll keep you updated when we hear when and where!