With the beginning of 2013-2014 school year just a couple of weeks away, much of the conversation this year is not focused on typical issues such as adequate funding or the condition of school facilities; instead, many parents and educators are discussing the soon-to-be-launched Idaho Core, the Gem State version of Common Core Standards.
And according to The New York Times, the debut of the new standards—in Idaho and 44 other states across the nation—is being dubbed "rocky," with critics pouncing from the left and right of the political spectrum.
Even some supporters of the Common Core are struggling with how they have been adopted. One proponent, David Cohen, a California English teacher who describes the standards as "reasonable," said that among colleagues, "the resistance and the anger and the frustration are still coming largely, but not entirely, from the process."
A report from the Center on Education Policy at George Washington University indicates that teachers in 30 states are already teaching some lessons based on the standards. But only 10 states reported that more than three-quarters of teachers had received any Common Core training in the most recent school year.
And some critics are saying the new standards are simply unrealistic.
“We’re using a very inappropriate standard that’s way too high,” Diane Ravitch, an education historian who served in President George W. Bush’s Education Department, told the Times. Ravitch has become an outspoken critic of many education initiatives. “I think there are a lot of kids who are being told that if they don’t go to college that it will ruin their life,” she said. “But maybe they don’t need to go to college.”