In Idaho (and Across the Country) High Standards are Made at the State and Local Level


District 1 Representative Heather Scott authored an opinion piece where she called for the removal of “federal mandates for local schools” following a rally of Idaho residents who spoke out against the state’s Common Core standards.

“Buck the Core” rally participants argued that Common Core was a “top down approach” and “testing has become expensive, unreliable and frustrating for many students and teachers.”

However, recent polling shows that most parents and teachers strongly support rigorous academic expectations that prepare students for college and careers.

State and local leaders have led the efforts to raise academic expectations and they continue to demonstrate ownership of their learning goals. In fact, objective analyses have repeatedly rejected claims that federal officials coerced states into adopting a higher baseline of education standards.

According to Washington Post columnist Lyndsey Layton, The Every Student Succeeds Act marks “a profound reset of the relationship between federal and state governments. States, not the federal government, decide curricula, teaching methods, academic standards, what to do about struggling schools and how to define success or failure.”

States are seeing the results of their commitment to raising classroom expectations.

This year a majority of states made significant improvements in math and reading proficiency.

Some of the biggest gains came among third-graders, who have spent the bulk of their academic careers learning to achieve to higher expectations.

“These findings send a clear message that it’s a mistake to retreat from high standards or go back to low-quality tests,” explains Hanna Skandera, New Mexico’s Secretary of Education.