Stop Forcing Government Education Programs on Idaho

As you know I’ve been personally involved in this battle on fixing our education system and getting rid of Common Core for the past 2 years, so I do appreciate that you are spending time with parents who care enough about their children to homeschool them. Outside of a private school this is the only alternative to public education that can be offered to our children. The parents who homeschool their children should be applauded. They have taken a huge responsibility for their child’s education upon themselves, and they are making a difference in this country. In public schools it’s the government that decides what you children will learn and how they will learn it, and as we have seen this system is failing year after year.

These days most parents haven’t a clue as to what their children are learning in school, and now with Common Core those who did have an idea are now lost. Many of them think of school as a daycare center and the teachers are babysitters while they try to make a living in a not so good economy.

Our state government is spending $5,000 on commercials promoting the SBAC test. Ask yourself, why you would have to promote this particular test. The only answer is there must be a lot of money at stake. The federal government is telling the state that if 95% of the students in your state do not take the test we will lose federal funding. If you ask Senator Rusche he will tell you there is $250 million in government aid at stake, but the truth be known the government has not yet pulled any money from states that have not made the 95% participation rate for the Common Core SBAC test.

Parents cannot be compelled to make their children take the SBAC test, and in fact there are constitutional challenges being made in other states as to the validity of the implementation of this test. All a parent has to do is “Just Say No” my child will not take this test and be willing to stand up for their rights. Parents forget that they pay the salaries of those in charge of our school system and they need to let them know that.

Common Core and the SBAC test are nothing more than big business having a say in how our schools are run. Superintendent Ybarra should be looking for an alternative to this SBAC test instead of running commercials promoting it. Everyone we have talked to with a modicum of common sense tells us that this test is too long and too intrusive with its psychometric questions. New York which was one of the first school systems to take on Common Core and the SBAC test reported that in the first year of testing there was a 70% failure rate. It caused such a stir that 575 principals from all over the state wrote in to New York’s Department of Education to make them aware that this is a bad test and an alternative needs to be found.

I believe our public school system is broken, and we keep buying into these government programs like, Race to the Top and No Child Left Behind and now Common Core. The first two were abysmal failures so why do we think that Common Core will be any different.

We have already had two scandals that can be connected to the implementation of Common Core. The Idaho Education Network was needed so students could take the SBAC test, and the Schoolnet program was to be an evaluation process for districts, but has failed to be of any real value. Just these two programs have cost taxpayers over $90 million in wasted taxpayer money. This is money that could have been used to get our teachers salaries to a competitive level with other states. Instead we are going to have to come up with another $125 million to fund our teachers pay hikes over five years.

The Schoolnet program was a product of the Pearson Company one of the biggest promoters and benefactors of the implementation of Common Core. The fact that no one in the state has been able to tell us how much it is going to cost to implement Common Core and the SBAC test is reason enough to question its implementation and validity.

Mark my words, this is not the end of the scandals that will come out of Common Core, We already know what happens when corporatism and cronyism combine to create more government interference in our lives. Just look at our State Healthcare Exchange and how much it cost to build. It was supposed to lower insurance rates, and instead we are finding costs for insurance are soaring and deductibles are out of sight but the medical establishment and insurance companies are pleased as pudding with higher premiums and medical costs. As I always say follow the money, and you will always find the reason we have a new government program.