As chairman of the Idaho Senate Education Committee, Coeur d'Alene Republican Sen. John Goedde is tasked with laying the groundwork for independent, critical thinking for public-school students. And Goedde wants to refine the reading list for those students—as long as it includes his kind of independence and critical thinking.
Goedde introduced legislation Tuesday that would require every Idaho public high-school student to read Atlas Shrugged and pass a test on it in order to get a diploma. The Ayn Rand novel, published in 1957, warns of increasing government control over capitalism, industry and free-thinking.
"That book made my son a Republican," said Goedde, according to a report by the Spokesman-Review's Betsy Russell.
Goedde acknowledged Tuesday that his proposed measure was a "shot over the bow" toward the State Board of Education and "that there's another way to adopt high-school graduation requirements."
Goedde said his proposal was more of "a statement" and didn't have plans to push the bill forward with particular vigor.