INTERVIEW: Candidate for state superintendent talks standardized testing, Common Core and primary campaign platform

Image Courtesy: Cindy Wilson

Listen to KID NewsRadio’s full interview with Cindy Wilson


IDAHO FALLS, Idaho – An Idaho teacher is hoping to unseat the current state Superintendent of Public Instruction during the upcoming primary elections.

Cindy Wilson. candidate for Idaho’s top education seat and a former east Idaho educator, told KID NewsRadio among her top issues she hopes to tackle if she’s elected is changing the learning culture in Idaho to better focus on what students are learning instead of what they’re scoring on exams.

“The problem we have is a disconnect between what students are learning in the classroom and what’s being tested, and that led to more teaching to a test,” Cindy Wilson told KID NewsRadio. “This is going require a whole different culture of learning where we don’t focus so much on that standardized test score as much as a pre and post test for what your curriculum is or what your particular content is for a unit of study and then determining what the students learned.”

The shift, Wilson said, is already starting in small ways as local districts and schools closely analyze how they educate students. Using that momentum, Wilson said she has high hopes for pushing that change in education culture statewide.

I think Idaho  can make the difference,” Wilson said. “I think we can really make a turnaround. As I travel the state, I’m talking to so many people who believe in changing the culture and making it more about learning than testing, and we can still assess. There’s a lot of ways we can assess through project-based assessment and through multiple types of assessments depending on the learners’ needs.

Wilson also takes issue with her opponent, Sherri Ybarra’s record. According to Idaho Education News, Ybarra has been absent for 12 board meetings since 2015. The only other board member who missed more meetings than Ybarra was fellow board member, Andy Scoggin.

I know as a classroom teacher, when I have a student who only attends 50 percent of the time, they just can’t learn the material,” Wilson said. “You know, I’m really proud of my record as I’ve been serving on the Idaho Board of Corrections. I have a 100 percent attendance record. I don’t want to miss, I feel like it’s my responsibility to represent the public, to ensure that what we do is understood and that I’m there at every single meeting and that’s what I pledge to the people of Idaho. I will attend those meetings and participate fully, and engage in this process.”