Common Core in Idaho Faces Poor Assessments & Public Opinion

idaho-state-flagNo surprise, Idaho in their first year with Smarter Balanced posted horrible assessment scores.

The Idaho Statesman reports:

Four years after Idaho joined a 43-state movement toward a set of standards in math and English language arts, the first test results are in. The State Department of Education released statewide data Wednesday showing that only half of students or less in grades three through eight and 10th grade are proficient or above in math and English.

Math is more troublesome than English, but both need attention.

One state senator is asking a great question:

When asked Wednesday about the results, state Sen. Steven Thayn, R- Emmett, a critic of the exam, said he still isn’t sure what the test measures. “How reliable is the test?” he asked. “What is it testing? Results might be great numbers or might not be.”

I would suspect opt-out numbers will increase next year in the state.  One poll of Idaho residents shows that a majority wants out of the Common Core. Jones & Associates conducted a poll of residents and found 27 percent of Idahoans support the state’s Common Core program, 57 percent oppose it, and 16 percent don’t know.

There is also a consensus that Common Core is not helping improve public education in Idaho.

Jones asked respondents if they think their public schools have gotten better, stayed about the same, or gotten worse over the last five years.

He finds:

  • 44 percent of all Idahoans say their public schools are worse today, 35 percent said they are about the same and only 12 percent believe the schools have gotten better. Nine percent didn’t know.

Those are not good numbers, and certainly not a vote of confidence in the schools by their patrons.

  • Women tend to be more tuned into their local schools than do men since moms are often more involved in their children’s educations than dads.

And Jones finds that 46 percent of women believe schools are worse off today than five years ago, 31 percent of women say schools are about the same, and 12 percent say they are better.

  • The men’s breakdown – 40 percent say they are worse, 40 percent say they are the same, 13 percent say they are better.

The age group 18-29-year-olds most recently left public education. And they are not impressed with their schooling, either.

Jones finds that 44 percent of that age group say schools are worse off today than five years ago, 27 percent say they are about the same, and 16 percent said they are better.

Politically speaking:

  • 37 percent of Republicans believe public schools are worse off today, 36 percent say they are about the same, 16 percent say they are better.
  • 45 percent of Democrats say schools are worse off today than five years ago, 33 percent say they are about the same, and 12 percent say they are better off.
  • 45 percent of political independents say schools are worse off today, 36 percent say they are about the same, and 12 percent say schools are better than five years ago.