For Idaho grads, 'Atlas Shrugged' may be a must-read

The symbolic bill would make students take a test on the book that State Sen. John Goedde says made his son a conservative.

Idaho State Sen. John Goedde likes Ayn Rand's novel "Atlas Shrugged" — a lot.

Goedde, who chairs the state Senate's Education Committee, has introduced legislation that would require every high school student in Idaho to read the book and pass a test on it in order to graduate.

He doesn't really intend to try to pass the bill, The Spokesman-Review reported. He said he formally introduced it Tuesday in order to show his displeasure with the State Board of Education, which dropped a rule requiring students to take online courses and another related to principal evaluations.

"It was a shot over their bow just to let them know that there's another way to adopt high school graduation requirements," he explained.

"Atlas Shrugged" is a favorite among those with Libertarian-leaning politics. The massive tome, published in 1957, features business leaders, industrialists and other contributors to society going on strike to protest taxes and government regulation.

Goedde told another senator Tuesday that the novel "made my son a Republican," and said it "certainly gives one a sense of personal responsibility."

He later clarified that his son was "not a practicing Republican," but said the book "made him a conservative."


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