Future of education debated - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

Future of education debated

Koler: Reversing trent of turning students into global citizens has only started

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Posted: Saturday, January 19, 2013 12:00 am

POST FALLS - Duncan Koler believes only a battle was won last year when it was decided to phase out the International Baccalaureate Organization advanced learning program in the Coeur d'Alene School District.

The war against what Koler sees as a historic trend of turning students into global citizens still remains.

"It's important to understand that this has been going on for a long time," Koler, an attorney from Hayden, told the Panhandle Pachyderm Club on Friday at Red Lion Templin's Hotel. "It hasn't stopped and it won't stop."

Koler, a member of the nonprofit Citizens for Better Education, was among those who opposed IB at Lake City High and the Primary Years Programme (PYP), the elementary version of IB at Hayden Meadows Elementary that will be terminated at the end of this year.

He said more work needs to be done getting education focused on core learning and academics and less on socialization.

"IB isn't the only problem," he said. "It was just the most visible and most objectionable on its face. It's what got me started down this path."

The CBE's position hasn't come without controversy.

Koler said some people have labeled his group as a "shadow organization" because it hasn't named its members. The Press requested the names on Friday, but Koler declined, saying that it's a diverse, loose-knit group interested in making conservative changes in schools and that he just happens to be the most outspoken member of the group.

Katie Kladar, a member of the nonprofit Coeur d'Alene Education Partnership that has different education philosophies than CBE, declined to comment on Koler's opinions, saying the CEP is non-partisan and not intended to engage in debates.

Koler called programs such as IB a "shell game" backed by big money and big business.

"It's a moving target they keep putting in front of you," he said. "The goal is to make you better, but it's not. Turning kids into global citizens is OK for some people, but it's not with me."

Koler said he believes there has been a reduced emphasis on the English language in schools and education has steered away from fundamentals such as cursive.

He said now is the time to buck the trend at the local level.

"The big picture is that it's time to look ahead like the progressives have for more than 100 years," he said. "(The lack of a long-term plan) has to change. We owe it to our kids."

Koler said that with the current Coeur d'Alene School Board, which he considers conservative throughout, and conservative Kootenai County, he's optimistic. He believes the board is carefully looking at the district's budget to keep costs at a minimum and is on the right track with March's supplemental levy vote that includes safety enhancements.

"We have an opportunity to rally the troops and continue with the progress that's been made," he said.

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  • cdanative33 posted at 8:09 pm on Mon, Jan 21, 2013.

    cdanative33 Posts: 374

    Stats please?

  • parent posted at 3:34 pm on Mon, Jan 21, 2013.

    parent Posts: 347

    Our schools need to improve their core standards BEFORE they think to expand into anything beyond. Many of our children are not getting a good foundation and they will not be going any further than their own trailer house door if we do not focus on better core standards first. Ask the best teachers, they will tell you that these new global objectives are not what should replace traditional core teaching. Advanced classes are very necessary but don't neglect the basic core learning in the process. I have seen the changes over the last 20 years by watching my own children's education and I do not like it! MANY students are passed along so that they don't get their little feelings hurt by holding them back until they achieve the concepts for that grade. This system needs some very real attention.

  • DoBaLSOS posted at 1:20 pm on Mon, Jan 21, 2013.

    DoBaLSOS Posts: 33

    Koler said he believes there has been a reduced emphasis on the English language in schools and education has steered away from fundamentals such as cursive.


    The fundamentals like cursive... REALLY! I think keyboarding would be a more useful tool. And don't look now Koler, but the Common Core is going to make thinkers out of Idaho students whether you like it or not.

  • dtsinidaho posted at 8:52 am on Mon, Jan 21, 2013.

    dtsinidaho Posts: 215

    As a secret (read CHICKEN) organization it is the goal to make sure that all North Idaho Children, hate ALL FOREIGN CULTURES. After all, if you don't run to NI and stock up on ammo so that you can repel the Chinese horde that are going to attack and rape our wifes, children and most importantly our dogs.

    And if they were to let the children actually LEARN about other countries, they would be able to see the ignorance of the Ex-Californians that escaped here in order to cower and loathe everything and everybody that isn't white, male and of course Christian. And if they suppress the education by removing any kind of global reality then there will be no reason to actually go to college and bring intelligence back to North Idaho.

    Because if they did that then there would be a total upheaval, and we would get.... oh my gosh.... multicultural people ( Read: Black, Asian, Hispanic ) and they would influence our local prosecutor to actually go after someone in his own party, for hate crimes.

  • truthful1 posted at 9:25 am on Sun, Jan 20, 2013.

    truthful1 Posts: 554

    Anyone that thinks Idaho has a future is delusional.

  • CHSdad posted at 8:36 pm on Sat, Jan 19, 2013.

    CHSdad Posts: 376

    Conquer cursive and you conquer the world. The world two hundred years ago, that is.

  • voxpop posted at 3:44 pm on Sat, Jan 19, 2013.

    voxpop Posts: 738

    Kids probably should learn to simply READ and progress appropriately through math before they have to worry about original texts written in cursive. People who have little if any clue as to how much more is being loaded onto teacher's who then have to jam it down kid's throats who don't care because M&D don't care should do some research. You can't keep adding to one end without cutting from the other. Either that or increase the school year by 25-50%. Of course, this is also being done with an increasing classroom population because of fewer qualified teachers being paid for by the boneheads in Boise. And I wonder JW, since someone like Koler seems to approve of our current board, will you support the override levy in March? Koler seems ready to. What I'm waiting for is the whacko right, and same such school board start crying that the move to Common Core is more IB, PYP, and other progressive claptrap.

  • Screen Name posted at 11:01 am on Sat, Jan 19, 2013.

    Screen Name Posts: 862

    Cursive? Really? A fundamental?

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