May 24, 2013

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One in every four Idaho high school graduates who attend a four-year college or university will need remedial training in basic skills like math or English. Three-fourths of all Idaho graduates who start their post-secondary work at a two-year community college will need this extra help to get caught up. Those classes — basically repeats of coursework Idaho taxpayers already paid for once — cost public universities and colleges in this state millions of dollars. And they aren’t the only ones suffering because of this.

Employers all over Idaho struggle to train and prepare new hires. We’re all looking for the same set of skills: problem-solving and critical thinking, written and oral communication abilities and an understanding of math. These abilities are what set apart the best in the workforce — and they’re the same sets of skills that ensure academic success at all levels of higher education.

All you have to do is look at the statistics to know that the old set of state standards isn’t working for our children, and the quality and rigor of their education may depend heavily on the quality of the standards. However, the new Idaho Core Standards address this problem by providing a common set of expectations that dramatically improve quality and rigor while also providing common benchmarks against which Idaho students can be measured and compared to students across the country.


Arthur Vailas


Idaho State University


Robert W. Kustra


Boise State University


M. Duane Nellis


University of Idaho


J. Anthony Fernandez


Lewis Clark State College