Legislature hears arguments for and against Common Core

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) - On Wednesday the Lincoln Auditorium was packed with people coming to hear about the future of education standards in Idaho.

The Join Education Committee held a forum in which they heard from a six person panel made up of teachers and education officials. The panel was split between those in favor and those against the new Common Core standards.

The panel answered questions that were submitted by the public in advance.

Many were asking what both the positive and negative effects would be.

State Superintendent Tom Luna said the new standards would be better for students, and they've already seen success in other states.

"These are students who no longer have to take remedial courses when they go on to a university, college, or go into the work force," said Luna. "Their employers no longer have to spend money to train them on critical math, and communication skills they should have learned in high school."

Others on the panel expressed concerns over districts losing control over their curriculum. Although Luna says the standards are only set by the state, and districts still choose how to teach it.

Still, some said the teachers they've talked with worry about their merit pay being attached to these higher standards right off the bat. Dorothy Moon, a teacher on the panel, said some educators are afraid to speak up.

"They didn't like how this was rolling out," said Moon. "There are teachers who are of course afraid to say anything in fear of their jobs."

The joint committee with continue to hear more from the public about education on Monday. The legislature has to approve the current education plans set forth by Luna before they can be implemented.