Today the school year starts for Idaho’s two largest school districts, Boise and Meridian. Several others have already begun. This is the first year that all Idaho schools will be using the Common Core State Standards.
Idaho’s Task Force for Improving Education released its final recommendations Friday. Governor Butch Otter asked the State Board of Education to create the group last December after voters rejected the education laws known as Students Come First. The 31 member task force was made up of representatives from several education groups.
Their recommendations include a unanimous recommendation to raise minimum teacher salaries from $31,000 to $40,000. Plus they want to restructure the career ladder so experienced teachers could also make more money.
North Star Charter School in Eagle started classes Thursday morning. As parents dropped off some of the school’s nearly 1,000 students administrators told them the worries that it might have to close in the next few months seem to be over.
ACT scores are out for the class of 2013. The company that owns the nationally administered college entrance exam has released its annual report on how the scores reflect the nation’s college and career readiness.
Idaho high school grads outpaced their national peers on all of the ACT’s college readiness benchmarks by wide margins.
At his annual State of the University speech, Boise State President Bob Kustra says the school will spend a year ranking its programs, departments and offerings. The process is being dubbed "program prioritization."
He says the goal is to make Boise State programs more cost effective. “We know there will be some resources as a result of this study that will require re-allocation,” says Kustra.
A preliminary list of recommendations created by Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter's new Task Force for Improving Education shows a focus on recouping lost education dollars and improving the workforce by paying teachers more money.
The Idaho Statesman reports the preliminary list includes a draft recommendation to raise minimum teacher salaries from $31,000 to $40,000 statewide, and to seek to restore $82.5 million in operational revenue that school districts have lost since 2008.
Idaho's State Board of Education is scheduled to vote Thursday on statewide physical education requirements for high school students.
The Idaho Statesmanreports the proposal calls for high school graduates to have two credits of physical education, beginning in 2019. Students would also be required to take CPR training, but wouldn't be required to pass a CPR test.
About 200 Idaho high schools have signed up to get Wi-Fi internet under the state’s new contract with a Tennessee-based company. Signing that contract brought the state’s Department of Education under fire last week. Some lawmakers thought the multi-year agreement violated the spirit of what the legislature had authorized the department to do when it set aside $2.25 million for Wi-Fi in the coming school year.
Idaho’s new list of school rankings came out Thursday afternoon. The number of schools receiving the highest rating, five stars, increased from the 2011-2012 school year to the 2012-2013 year. The number of one star schools declined. Nearly 160 schools went up at least one star. The highest concentration of schools continues to be in the four star category.
Idaho’s Department of Education releases its list today of school rankings for the 2012-2013 school year. It’s based on a five star system the state began last year.
Five star schools are considered high performing. Those at the bottom have to follow an improvement plan under state scrutiny. In last year’s rating list there was something most one star schools had in common: poverty. Take Boise’s Hawthorne Elementary where Beverly Boyd is principal.
A federal jury has sided with two Idaho school districts in a lawsuit brought by the family of a teen with Asperger's syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder.
The jury deliberated about 6½ hours Friday before reaching the verdict in favor of the Boise and Meridian school districts, and U.S. District Judge Candy Dale issued an order officially dismissing the lawsuit on Wednesday.
New York based Greek yogurt maker Chobani has been chosen to lead a new pilot program through the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That program will feature the high protein yogurt in school lunches starting this school year.
Idaho, along with Arizona, New York and Tennessee will participate to see how cost effective it will be to offer this yogurt as a meat substitute for school meals. If the test is successful, Greek yogurt could become a permanent fixture of the school lunch program across the U.S.
North Star Charter School in Eagle has appealed the move by the Meridian School District to revoke its charter to the State Board of Education. But that appeal may be premature. It’s the latest move in what has become, to all parties, a maze of shifting and difficult to understand state law.
Meridian started the process of revocation last month saying the school it authorized 10 years ago is not financially stable. But the district has not actually revoked the document that allows North Star to operate.
Spokesman Eric Exline says the district can’t do that.
Idaho’s Department of Education signed a contract Wednesday for $2.1 million a year with Tennessee-based company Education Networks of America (ENA) to provide Wi-Fi internet access to the state’s high schools. But that came after a day of criticism around the decision.
Some Idaho lawmakers are upset by State Schools Superintendent Tom Luna's announcement that a $2.1 million annual statewide Wi-Fi network contract will run for up to 15 years — without prior legislative budget approval.
Luna's office said Wednesday Education Networks of America won the contract to equip as many as 340 Idaho high schools with the wireless Internet technology. Nine companies submitted bids. ENA's came in under the $2.25 million set aside by the 2013 Legislature for next year.
Union membership among Idaho teachers has dropped sharply in recent years. Idaho Education News reports a 14.3 percent decline in Idaho Education Association (IEA) membership between the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 school years. That is compared to a 3.6 percent drop nationally.