Education

Education
9:45 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Report Finds Treasure Valley Students Show Little Or No Growth

Credit FlickingerBrad / Flickr Creative Commons

A student-performance report from Treasure Valley schools shows stagnant growth in 11 indicators, ranging from school readiness to obtaining a post-secondary degree.

The Treasure Valley Education Partnership (TVEP) released its “Report to the Community” Wednesday, and most numbers were disappointing.

“We have a lot of work to do,” said TVEP chairman Rich Raimondi, president at Bishop Kelly High School. “We first want to be open and transparent about our baseline. I think we will see (increases) in the next couple of years.”

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Education
1:26 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

ACLU Files Lawsuit Against Southern Idaho School District

The American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho has filed a lawsuit against a south-central Idaho school district accusing it of sexually and religiously discriminating against a student.

The Times-News reports that Declo High School and Cassia County School District denied senior Sierra Norman the opportunity to run for student body president last spring.

School officials argue Norman took too many online dual-credit classes to qualify as a full-time student.

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Election 2014
6:45 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Republican Ybarra Dismisses Controversies As 'Campaign Rhetoric'

Sherri Ybarra
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Republican Sherri Ybarra says her at-times bumpy campaign for Idaho's Superintendent of Public Instruction is a result of increased public scrutiny on a political newcomer. But the school administrator from Mountain Home says she understands the focus that's on her comes with a run for public office.

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Election 2014
9:49 am
Mon October 20, 2014

What's The Biggest Issue Facing Idaho Schools? Jana Jones Says There Are Two

Jana Jones ran for superintendent of schools in 2006 and was defeated by Tom Luna.
Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

The Democrat running to be Idaho’s next Superintendent of Public Instruction says funding and low morale are the two biggest issues facing Idaho’s schools.

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Election 2014
10:24 am
Thu October 9, 2014

Should Idaho Ditch 4-Day School Weeks? See How It's Become A Campaign Talking Point

Credit BionicTeaching / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho’s four-day schools have become a talking point in this fall’s elections — to the chagrin of at least two superintendents that use a four-day instruction calendar.

They say the four-day schools are getting an unfair rap for slashing instruction time, and for compromising quality.

“I understand why it’s out there in the political discussion, because it’s a quick soundbite,” Shoshone School District Superintendent Rob Waite said last week.

It has certainly been a recurring campaign theme.

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Education
4:13 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

Idaho High School Students Lag Behind On SAT Scores, AP Scores Improve

Credit DerekBruff / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho high school students showed improvement on Advanced Placement tests, but lag well behind national benchmarks on the SAT college placement exam.

Those are two key findings from national results issued Tuesday.

The College Board, a New York-based nonprofit, released scores for the three sets of tests it administers: the AP exams, the SAT and the PSAT/NMSQT, a practice test for the SAT.

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Education
2:14 pm
Thu October 2, 2014

Gov. Otter Says Plan To Boost Teacher Pay Is In Budget Draft

Credit State of Idaho

Gov. Butch Otter says his 2015-16 budget blueprint has money set aside to launch a career ladder program to boost teacher pay.

“It’s within our parameters,” Otter said in a Wednesday interview with Idaho Education News. “I have every confidence that we will get the first year.”

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Education
4:27 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Idaho High School Students Gather In Boise To Solve The World’s Problems

Today’s teenagers will soon inherit all of the worlds’ big problems. So why not enlist their help in solving them? That’s the idea behind the 24 Hour Think Challenge sponsored by the J.A. And Kathryn Albertson Foundation and the student leadership organization One Stone.

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Education
5:30 am
Tue September 30, 2014

Idaho Teachers Push Back Against Plan To Change How They Get Licensed

Credit joanne johnson / Flickr Creative Commons

Those who follow education and politics in Idaho will probably be hearing the phrase ‘tiered licensure’ a lot in the next few months. The idea is to create different levels of teaching licenses.  Idaho Education News reporter Clark Corbin has been following the issue closely. Corbin says the plan has many teachers worried.

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Education
5:51 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

Idaho College Gets $6.4M Grant To Train Health Care Workers

Coeur d’Alene's North Idaho College received a major grant Monday to train people in rural areas for hard-to-fill jobs in the health care industry.

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Election 2014
4:36 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

Idaho Schools Chief Candidates Meet For Third Debate

Idaho should “explore” a more aggressive Internet sales tax, Jana Jones said Friday.

Sherri Ybarra, meanwhile, sidestepped the question, saying tax policy is wholly the job of the Legislature.

In their third head-to-head meeting of the week, the two state superintendent’s candidates didn’t break new ground — and, once again, they generally agreed on many issues.

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Religion
12:31 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

Mormon Church Raises Requirements For High School Seminary Students

Seminary in Provo, Utah.
Credit Ben McKune / Flickr Creative Commons

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is raising the bar for high school students enrolled in seminary, adding tests and reading requirements to a program that previously just required attendance.

Church-run seminary classes are geared toward students ages 14 to 18 and overview the Mormon scriptures in 50-minute, daily sessions typically held at a home or LDS meetinghouse in the mornings before regular high school classes begin.

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Education
2:04 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Why Idaho's Graduation Rate Has Dropped To A 10-Year Low

Credit GadgetDude / Flickr Creative Commons

In 2012-13, Idaho’s high school graduation rate dropped to its lowest point in a decade.

The numbers — the most recent available — largely reflect a bookkeeping change. The federal government wants schools to do a better job of tracking students who leave the education system, even if they just transfer to another school; any students who fall through the cracks will be listed as dropouts.

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School Funding
4:25 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Idaho Voters Tax Themselves $1 Billion To Fill School Budget Holes

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Since July 1, 2007 — and during Butch Otter’s two terms as governor — school districts have backfilled their budgets with more than $1 billion in supplemental property tax levies.

The amount of the levies has steadily grown during Otter’s first eight years in office. So too has districts’ reliance on these short-term voter-approved levies.

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Teacher Pay
3:45 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Idaho Task Force Seeks Higher Teacher Salaries

Credit BES Photos / Flickr Creative Commons

A state task force says reforming Idaho's teaching certification must be tied to increasing salaries in order to attract and retain quality teachers in public schools.

The 15-member committee spent most of Monday discussing details of implementing a new teacher pay system commonly known as the career ladder.

However, some members worry that state lawmakers will approve tougher certification requirements without providing funding for higher salaries.

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Education
1:12 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Rural Idaho Community Divided Over Failed School Levy

A school event in Lapwai
Credit facebook.com/pages/Lapwai-School-District

A school superintendent in northern Idaho says the reason his district hasn't had music classes in more than a year, and will soon switch to virtual gym classes, is as much about the difficulty of attracting and retaining qualified teachers in rural areas as it is about funding.

The story of Lapwai School District's  funding problems has been picked up by just about every news outlet in the state.

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Education
1:45 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

Idaho's Superintendent Luna Proposes Largest School Budget Increase Yet

Credit Kyle Stokes / StateImpact Indiana

Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna is proposing a 6.9 percent budget increase to Idaho's public school funding for 2015. Luna says the budget calls for the largest spending increase he's ever proposed in his nearly eight-year tenure.  

Luna unveiled his budget Tuesday to Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter and legislative leadership. However, because Luna isn't seeking a third-term, it'll be the winner of the November election who will be tasked with selling the $94 million budget increase to lawmakers during the next legislative session.

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Education
9:46 am
Tue September 2, 2014

High School Students Will Take Virtual Gym Class In Small Idaho Town

Credit newfilm.dk / Flickr Creative Commons

High school students in a north-central Idaho town will have to take gym classes through an online program this year after a school levy failed.

Lapwai School District Superintendent David Aiken told the Lewiston Tribune the district can't afford to hire a physical education teacher, so students will have to take PE through the Idaho Digital Learning Academy, a state-sponsored online school. Students will have access to the school gym and equipment, but Aiken said the teacher would be on the other side of the computer.

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Education
11:30 am
Thu August 28, 2014

After Failed Bond, West Ada School District Will Try Again

A row of portable buildings sit outside Lake Hazel Middle School, the West Ada School District's most crowded middle school.
Credit Idaho Education News

The West Ada School District will run another bond issue in an attempt to ease overcrowding issues.

But first, district officials want to look at the ingredients of a bond proposal — and crunch the precinct-by-precinct numbers from Tuesday’s vote.

“The kids aren’t going away and the need isn’t going to decrease,” West Ada Superintendent Linda Clark said Wednesday.

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Education Funding
11:15 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Voters Reject $104 Million Bond For Idaho's Largest School District

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

A $104 million bond that would have helped the West Ada School District address overcrowding failed Tuesday. It needed a two-thirds super majority to pass, but failed with 63 percent of the vote.

The Idaho Statesman reports the school's superintendent says overcrowding won't be going away, and the district will need to attempt the bond measure again.

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