In August, Superintendent of Public Instruction proposed several changes to administrative rules in an effort to improve K-12 public education in the state of Idaho. Now is your chance to provide comments on these proposed changes before they return to the Idaho State Board of Education for final approval in November.
In education, the Idaho State Board of Education and at least one body in the Legislature, either the House or Senate Education Committee, must approve an administrative rule before it is final. Approved administrative rules become part of Idaho Administrative Code and have the full force and effect of state law.
Superintendent Luna proposed six rule changes during the State Board’s meeting in August. These proposed changes are now open for public comment. The Department also has scheduled a public hearing October 8 to take public comments.
The rule changes vary from proposed changes to physical education requirements and math and science course offerings to adding cursive writing in elementary grades.
The Idaho State Department of Education encourages parents, teachers, school administrators, and other stakeholders in education to review these proposed changes and provide their comments. Idahoans can provide their comments in several ways:
- Visit the Department’s website to review the proposed changes in full and submit your comments.
- Submit your comments in writing to the Idaho State Department of Education at P.O. Box 83720, Boise, Idaho 83720-0027. Be sure to reference the proposed rule number in your comments.
- Attend the state’s public hearing, which will be held at 3 p.m. on October 8, 2013 at the State Department of Education offices, 650 W. State Street, 2nd floor, Boise, Idaho. Read the full public hearing notice to learn more details before attending.
Here is a list and brief summary of the proposed rule changes:
Cursive Writing in Elementary Grades: This is a proposed rule. It would add the requirement that elementary students must learn cursive. It does not specify grades in elementary school where cursive instruction must occur, and standards for cursive writing are left up to each local school district to decide. After public comment, this rule will go back to the State Board at its special meeting in November before going to the Legislature in 2014 for final approval. (Reference: IDAPA 08.02.03.103)
ISAT for the Purpose of Graduation: This is a temporary rule. The rule allows students who pass the ISAT in the 9th grade to have completed their 10th grade ISAT for the purposes of graduation. Specifically, for the Class of 2016, students who have not passed the ISAT as 9th graders must do an alternative route crafted by the district in lieu of passing the 10th grade ISAT as the state is transitioning to more rigorous assessments in 2015. The rule also allows students to receive content credit for classes taken prior to high school, but the classes do not count toward fulfilling graduation requirements. This rule is in effect immediately but can be altered through public comment. This rule will go back to the State Board at its special meeting in November before going to the Legislature in 2014 for final approval. (Reference: IDAPA 08.02.03.105)
Physical Education Requirements and Math and Science Course Offerings to Students: This is a proposed rule. Currently, physical education is required in elementary and middle grades, but no minimum time requirement exists. The proposed rule would establish minimum minute requirements for physical education in elementary school (60 minutes) and middle school (220 minutes). In high school, P.E. is required to be offered, but students do not have to take it in order to graduate. The rule would require students take two credits of P.E. as a graduation requirement. Students could earn at least one of their two required credits by playing a sport or other activity outside the school day. The activity must be sanctioned by the Idaho High School Activities Association or approved by the local school district. The rule also would require CPR training in at least one period of health class during high school as a graduation requirement.
The proposed rule change also would offer students more flexibility in their math and science course offerings. High school students would have the option to take dual credit engineering, dual credit computer science, or Advanced Placement (AP) computer science and count it as a mathematics or science credit. Students must have completed Algebra II standards to count AP Computer Science, Dual Credit Computer Science, and Dual Credit Engineering as a math credit. Currently, students can take these courses but only for elective credit, which does not count toward the state’s graduation requirement of three years of mathematics and three years of science. The Idaho Technology Council and leaders of technology companies in Idaho helped craft this rule change.
After public comment, this rule will go back to the State Board at its special meeting in November before going to the Legislature in 2014 for final approval. (Reference: IDAPA 08.02.03.104, 105)
Endorsement Requirements: This is a proposed rule. The proposed rule revises endorsement requirements to align to changes to educator standards for: Standard Elementary Certificate, Driver Education (6-12). English (6-12), Gifted and Talented (K-12), Library Media Specialist (K-12), Literacy (K-12), Teacher Librarian (K-12) as well as changes to Administrator Certificate. The rule also changes the name of the group Idaho uses to accreditate its teacher education programs from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) to the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). After public comment, this rule will go back to the State Board at its special meeting in November before going to the Legislature in 2014 for final approval. (Reference: IDAPA 08.02.02.018, .021, .022, .023, .024, .026, .100)
Idaho Standards and Driver Education: This is a proposed rule. This proposed rule addresses standards for English Language Arts, Gifted and Talented, Library Media Specialist, Literacy, School Administrator foundation, Principal, School Superintendent and Special Education Director as well as proposed standards revisions to the Idaho Standards for Operating procedures for Idaho Public Driver Education Programs. After public comment, this rule will go back to the State Board at its special meeting in November before going to the Legislature in 2014 for final approval. (Reference: IDAPA 08.02.02.004)
Mathematics In Service Program: This is a temporary and proposed rule. This rule articulates that standards incorporated into the “Mathematical Thinking for Instruction” courses may be taught by all Idaho-approved preparation programs under a variety of course titles. Each course must be approved by the State Department of Education to ensure fidelity in curriculum. The rule also clarifies language regarding Out-of-State Applicant requirements for the Idaho Comprehensive Literacy Course. This rule is in effect immediately but can be altered through public comment. This rule will go back to the State Board at its special meeting in November before going to the Legislature in 2014 for final approval. (Reference: IDAPA 08.02.02.016)
If you have comments to submit, please do so by the end of October. Learn more about the proposed rules or how to submit comments on the Department’s website.