BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A newly formed coalition of groups supporting core curriculum standards in Idaho schools has created some unexpected alliances.

Eighteen groups have joined the Idahoans for Excellence in Education to show their support for Idaho's version of the Common Core Standards, including the teachers' union, the State Board of Education and groups representing parents and businesses.

The Idaho Education Association and State Superintendent Tom Luna were bitter rivals last year over Luna's failed "Students Come First" education reforms, but Luna's spokeswoman Melissa McGrath says her boss is pleased with the broad support.

Proponents say the core standards will elevate and align education benchmarks and increase academic rigor. But opponents say the standards were created without the input of local educators and are a loss of local control.