The Idaho Education Association (IEA) Monday released a set of recommendations for state and local policy makers. During the two year debate over Idaho’s Students Come First laws, which voters repealed in November, the statewide teachers union received frequent criticism for opposing the laws without detailing an alternate plan for school improvement. The IEA’s new document contains more than 80 policy recommendations in nine categories.
Some of the recommendations are variations on concepts the IEA opposed in Students Come First. Those include increased use of online classes and pay for performance. But in the IEA’s approach all online classes would be taught by Idaho teachers and pay for performance would be implemented at the district level under the direction of teachers.
The bullet points below highlight some of the recommendations from the Idaho Education Association. These are taken directly the IEA's list :
- End social promotion. Provide all students who are retained the chance to demonstrate learning and move into the succeeding grade by providing them the opportunity to attend supplemental classes staffed by highly qualified teachers.
- Use a school schedule that keeps students in school more days throughout the year, but which also reduces the length of the learning day.
- Provide a program of voluntary high-quality, preschool education, that is universally available to 3- and 4-year-old children from families at or below 200 percent of the poverty line.
- Raise the bar on entry into the teaching profession.
- Require that principal trainees complete a successful year of residency working in collaboration with a Master Principal, trained in educational leadership, prior to receiving their administrator credentials. ~ Idaho Education Association
This list of recommendations comes three days after the first meeting of the state’s new education improvement task force. Governor Butch Otter called for that group's creation after the repeal of Students Come First. The IEA has four of the 31 seats on the task force.
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