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Ex-Luna campaigner speaks out against Common Core

By By Caleb James, Reporter
Published On: Jun 20 2013 12:54:14 AM CDT
Updated On: Jun 20 2013 02:04:12 PM CDT

Caleb James reports.

AMMON, Idaho -

Several Snake River Valley groups are rising up to protest Common Core Standards in Idaho schools.

By 2014, Idaho's 280,000 students will be learning from the same basic core curriculum as students in 45 other states. that concept isn't sitting well with some parents and educators.

On Wednesday night, over 100 people filled the Rimrock Elementary gym in Ammon for a meeting of the group called Idahoans Against Common Core.

The group asserts the Common Core Standards are created and written by corporate special interests, and lead writers had no experience writing curriculum standards. The group's presentation also quoted individuals involved in the curriculum development process who have spoken against the quality of the standards.

Group organizers said they have asked Idaho's superintendent of education Tom Luna for the names of 150 teachers who Luna has said were involved in the curriculum development. According to Idahoans Against Common Core, the names of those teachers aren't listed anywhere.

In Rexburg, a former campaigner for Luna said on Wednesday she's changed her mind about the superintendent since he signed Idaho up for Common Core.
     
"When Tom campaigned for state superintendent of education, he promised broader local control," said Maria Nate, also a former Madison School Board member. "This is not more local control."

Nate used to campaign on behalf of superintendent Tom Luna, before he was elected to the post.

"I can't get him to listen or understand," she said. "It makes me laugh when Tom talks about (the Common Core) being simpler."
 
At her kitchen table -- covered in packets and stacks of research on Common Core -- Nate said the shift will take local control away.

"Commonality across different states will lead to progressivism," she said.
 
Nate defines progressivism as "group think."
     
"Why do we all need to be the same?" she said.
 
Most of all, Nate worries the kids won't be ready.
     
"I don't think it's tested, I don't think it's proven," said Nate. "It's going to be drastically different from the way they've learned in the past."

Boise-based anti-Common Core group will host a conference from 9 a.m to 1 p.m. on July 27 at the Boise Centre.

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