Guest Blog – District 8 Senator Steve Thayn – Common Core

I have been accused of being in favor of Common Core. This is incorrect. I am actively working to change and correct many of the underlying problems with Common Core and public education in general. First, let me list what I am opposed to:

1. I oppose the federalization of education and curriculum.
2. I don’t support the way many teachers teach math. It is too confusing.
3. I don’t support math instruction that does not allow parents to help with homework.
4. I don’t support socialism being taught in schools.
5. I don’t support sexuality and exposure to non-appropriate material in school.
6. I don’t support the teaching of history that demeans our Founding Fathers.

The fundamental flaw of public education is that the system chooses the curriculum and control the system while parents are largely cut out of the process. This is the underlying flaw that needs to be corrected. While opposition is an important first step, the second step is even more important. What should we do to improve it?

I have been actively involved in correcting this flaw by re-empowering parents. For example, the Advanced Opportunities Program allocates funds directly for use by each individual student and their parents to access the public education system on their terms. They can:
1. Take online classes that more closely meet their historical worldview
2. Take college classes in high school that reduces the cost of college
3. Take classes and earn industry certifications in high school like welding or CNA to improve their career goals
4. Others

I am working to get rid of the 10th grade ISAT test which is the SBAC or Common Core test. I am writing a resolution and working with the State Board to get this done. I am actually getting parts of Common Core dismantled.

I am introducing a bill that will deal with the issue of the math facts not being taught.

I am introducing a bill that will allow students that get one-year ahead in school to negotiate a flexible attendance schedule so that they can spend more time at home being instructed by their parents, if the parents want to, and the school will not be harmed financially.

This is a short list of the things that I have and am doing to empower parents to change and modify the education system for the benefit of all involved: parents, teachers, students, administrators, and taxpayers.

The concern I have with many anti-Common Core opponents is that they seem to believe in the myth of spontaneous freedom i.e. if an offending government program is removed, perfection will be the only thing remaining. This has never happened and cannot happen and is a dangerous strategy. More often than not, if something is removed, without first having a plan, a vacuum is created which is filled by something worse.

Let me point out that the State of Idaho Constitution requires standards. The question is which standards should we have? And, how do we make the transition from where we are to where we want to go? This is the debate we should be having.

We cannot govern by simply opposing what we don’t want.