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Hundreds turn out for education task force meeting in Idaho Falls

By By Caleb James, Reporter
Published On: Apr 23 2013 12:04:35 AM CDT

Caleb James reports.

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho -

On Monday night in Idaho Falls, Governor Butch Otter's education task force heard community concerns about the state of education in Idaho.

The Tingey Auditorium at University Place was packed with hundreds of eastern Idahoans waiting to speak to the task force

The most common concern from those who spoke publicly at the forum seemed to be the implementation of nationwide “Common Core Standards” in Idaho public schools.

Task force chair Richard Westerberg began the meeting with statistics about the current state of Idaho education. The task force wants 60 percent of Idahoans 25-34 years old to have post-secondary degrees by 2020. Right now it's just 35 percent.

Other goals included the implementation of technology and including professional development.

When it came time for public comment, dozens of speakers attacked the idea of moving to a common core curriculum.

“When I went online and looked through the common core standards and started looking at them,  the concern I had as a parent is that those standards are copy righted,” said one speaker. “My understanding of something that is copyrighted is that it cannot be altered.”

Other speakers echoed her concerns.

“It has drastically changed the way math is being taught in my district. This is all a result of the common core. We need to get out of it.”

Other speakers passionately asked tax payers to make their voices heard in telling Governor Otter education needs more funding across the board.

The task force will hold another forum on Tuesday night at Century High School in Pocatello at 6:30 p.m.

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