Most parents perceive our local school board as being precisely what its name implies, a local entity that functions solely within our child’s school district. In general this is true; however, they too have a statewide organization that lobbies on their behalf to our state legislature and other state level entities. The Idaho School Board Association (ISBA) meets annually and determines which issues to be addressed that further their aims and purpose. Their mission is to “Provide leadership and services to local school boards for the benefit of students and for the advocacy of public education.” The ISBA will hold its annual convention in Coeur d’Alene on Nov. 6-8. Resolutions to be brought forth for vote include the “Statewide Software Application for Data Collection” which provides for the “574 data points now being collected by the state resulting in thousands of lines of data when data points are used” and “the data points have continued to change as reporting requirements have increased” and are used for reporting purposes to federal entities and the Statewide Longitudinal Data System. With the rule changes to the Family Education Protection Act removing parental rights and protections to their child’s and their family’s personal information, this resolution should not be passed. The second resolution is “Support for Idaho Core Standards” that claims “are research based and competitive with standards implemented in other countries” which is both misleading and inaccurate. It can be argued that the Idaho Core Standards are lower than the standards they replace and are not an improvement for our children’s education quality. There is no doubt Idaho deserves better standards but Idaho Core Standards are a step in the wrong direction. This resolution would “communicate to the Idaho State Legislature the importance of staying the course with respect of implementation to the ICS.”
Parents and school boards need to understand that the ICS are so named due to the copyright license with the copyright holder and that they are neither state led nor state owned. Remaining in the core standards will remove all local parent and school board control of our children’s education. Resolution 7, however, “Support for the National School Board Association Efforts for Increased Local Governance” federal legislation HR1386 would help secure local control for parents, teachers, and school boards. If parents and school boards want to continue to have a voice in the education process for our children we need to start with our school boards now.