Education

Idaho Ed News

Slightly more than 25,000 Idaho elementary school students were reading below grade level, according to statewide test scores from this spring.

As sobering as those numbers sound, they also represent a snapshot. In the fall of 2015, more than 36,000 students were not reading at grade level. At the end of the school year, two-thirds of these students remained below grade level. But over the course of the school year, teachers and schools helped 11,000 students pull their reading skills to grade level.

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The Annie E. Casey Foundation this week released its annual Kids Count report on child well-being. Idaho ranked 22nd out of the 50 states. But Idaho is not really in the middle of the pack when you break that ranking down into its individual components. In some measures, the state’s children have it much better than their peers in other states, and in some they have it much worse.

Idaho Ed News

Three Idaho charter schools run the risk of a midyear financial collapse, and are on notice with the state.

Idaho’s Public Charter School Commission has issued notices of fiscal concern to Blackfoot Charter Community Learning Center in Blackfoot; Syringa Mountain School in Hailey; and The Village Charter School in Boise.

U.S. Dept. of Education / Flickr Creative Commons

This year’s SAT results are out and Idaho high school juniors averaged 1002. If you’re bringing up what you know about SAT scores, maybe trying to remember your own, you may be thinking that’s pretty bad. And last year, when the total possible was 2,400, it would have been. But this is the first year of some big changes to the test and the scoring system. Now, the total possible score is 1,600.

Idaho Education News

The 2015 Disneyland measles outbreak stretched into Utah — but never crossed the border into Idaho.

Idaho Education News

Over several years, more than $2.3 million in federal grants went to Idaho charter schools that later closed their doors.

The grants came from $1.8 billion in federal programs designed to provide startup dollars for charter schools. And the U.S. Department of Education concedes the grant recipients include more than 400 failed charter schools.

Susan Lueck / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho State University has investigated allegations of bullying in its softball program and says the concern was based on misinterpreted comments.

The Idaho State Journal reports that ISU Director of Athletics Jeff Tingey says he received complaints from two players who said a small group of their teammates had been bullying them. Tingey says the teammates were stepping up as "vocal leaders" but it came off as bullying. He says the school has addressed the issue with the students.

Boise State University, campus
Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Treasure Valley students and residents this fall will have an opportunity to take classes from Harvard Business School without leaving Idaho. Boise State University and the famed Ivy League school announced a new partnership Thursday.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

One Meridian high school student will be spending Memorial Day researching a World War II soldier from Idaho. He’s looking for help from the community to remember a soldier who died in Normandy.

Josh White is a sophomore at Renaissance High School. He and his teacher Janelle Gilson are taking part in a national program designed to teach students about World War II.

White is researching the life of Army Technician Fourth Grade Ray O. Coffey. He’s learned a few things from census and military records, but can’t find a lot about Coffey’s life in Boise.

Texas is filing a lawsuit over the Obama administration’s transgender student guidelines.

Ten other states are supporting the lawsuit, Reuters reported Wednesday. Idaho was not on that initial list, but will support the Texas lawsuit.

“We still plan to participate and are working on an amicus brief in support of the states listed as plaintiffs in the lawsuit,” Mark Warbis, a spokesman for Gov. Butch Otter, said Wednesday afternoon.

Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Boise State University and Concordia Law School have created an arrangement aimed at undergrads who want to go to law school. Students can start at Concordia after three years at Boise State. For students in the “three plus three” program, the first year at Concordia will also count as the fourth year at Boise State. So students could get a bachelor's and a law degree in six years, rather than seven.

Concordia Law dean Cathy Silak says the program will help students minimize debt and get to the workforce quicker. She says it was a natural partnership.

learning elementary student teacher
Alvin Trusty / Flickr Creative Commons

Experienced teachers in Idaho looking for a bonus will have to show their work just like their students under a new plan recently adopted by the Idaho State Board of Education.

Under the new state guidelines, teachers with at least eight years of experience will have to submit a portfolio documenting how they meet the standards required to receive a master teacher premium. These $4,000 bonuses won't go into effect until 2019, but the board wants to give enough time to teachers and school districts for preparation.

Mike Gifford / Flickr Creative Commons

We’ve heard from some southwest Idaho school districts in the last few days about how they’re reacting to new federal guidelines about transgender students. The Obama administration Friday sent a letter to all public schools that take federal money saying the law that bans gender discrimination also applies to transgender students.

Wayan Vota / Flickr Creative Commons

The Obama administration Friday issued new guidelines about transgender students in the nation’s schools. A letter sent to schools firms up already existing policies that the Title IX law banning gender discrimination in schools taking federal money also applies to transgender students in K-12 schools.

Adam Cotterell

In the role of defense attorney, Leah March begins to interrogate her witness. It starts off establishing the basic facts. He says he’s a 42-year-old ranch hand. He lives in Picabo, Idaho. Yes, he knows the plaintiff. He’s actually a high school junior named Eric Wilford and the Basque accent he’s using isn’t real.

Idaho Education News

Idaho school districts could be out close to $2 million, as a result of the latest Idaho Education Network budget snafu.

Fifty-seven of Idaho’s 115 school districts now stand to lose out on “e-Rate” money — federally administered dollars collected from landline and cell phone bills. The districts were counting on the e-Rate dollars to cover a share of their technology costs on a host of projects.

Boise State University

Boise State and Idaho State will hold spring commencement ceremonies Saturday. 

Boise State says 2334 students are eligible for degrees and certificates following the spring semester. All told, about 4,000 students will graduate from Boise State this academic year. 

Lacey Daley / Boise State Public Radio

Two Idaho Universities have exemptions from a federal law that bans discrimination against transgender students.

BC Lions

Fans of the University of Idaho were recently greeted with news that the Vandal program will leave college football’s highest level. The move to the lower-tier FCS follows some very challenging years in Moscow. The final straw was word earlier this year from the Sun Belt Conference that Idaho was essentially being kicked out.

Without a conference, President Chuck Staben and Athletic Director Rob Spear opted not to play a difficult schedule as an independent team. Instead, the school will accept an offer to join the Big Sky Conference in 2018.

Idaho Education News

The state has received another round of bad budget news stemming from the defunct Idaho Education Network project.

But it’s not immediately clear how big the problem is this time, and what it could mean for schools across the state.

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