College Readiness
8:08 pm
Sun September 8, 2013

Idaho 2013 SAT Scores Nearly Unchanged From 2012

Credit Melissa Hincha-Ownby / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho high school juniors who took the SAT last spring scored nearly the same compared to those who took the college entrance exam the year before. The College Board, the company that administers the SAT, says 500 is the benchmark which indicates students are ready for college. The 2013 juniors scored 452 in reading, 452 in math and 446 in writing. The 2012 group got 448 in reading, 454 in math and 447 in writing.

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Education Technology
2:51 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

School Wi-Fi Contractor Drops Price After Pressure From Idaho Lawmakers

Credit roland / Flickr Creative Commons

A company installing wireless Internet networks in Idaho public schools says it will reduce the contract's price tag amid pressure from lawmakers who question the deal.

The Spokesman-Review reported Friday that Tennessee-based Education Networks of America and the State Department of Education agreed the company will be paid only for schools it connects with Wi-Fi system, not get a flat fee.

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6:40 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

Idaho Educator Featured In CBS Documentary "Teach"

Shelby Harris and her seventh graders are using Khan Academy, an online learning program.
Credit Don Holtz

Idaho teacher Shelby Harris is featured in a documentary by Academy Award winning filmmaker Davis Guggenheim that premieres Friday on CBS.

"Teach" features four educators from around the country, each trying different strategies to teach and inspire their students.

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School Safety
6:50 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Report: Idaho One Of Four States Without School Disaster Plan Requirements

This Bureau of Reclamation photo shows the Teton Dam collapse on June 5, 1976 near Newdale, Idaho.
Credit Bureau of Reclamation / | Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho doesn’t require schools or daycares to have disaster plans. According to a report out this week from the nonprofit Save the Children, Idaho is one of four states that have no requirement.

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1:00 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

48 Idaho Schools "Flip The Classroom" And Pilot Khan Academy Online Learning

Shelby Harris' work with Khan Academy will be featured in a documentary called "Teach" airing Sept. 6 on CBS.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Shelby Harris’s first period is not a typical seventh grade class. The students come in, get laptops and go to work.

“Without any instruction from me,” Harris says. “They know exactly what path they’re on. And they just work. It’s amazing.”

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2:15 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Gov. Otter Backs A Proposal To Restore Idaho Education Funding

Gov. Butch Otter talks with lawmakers before delivering his 2013 State of the State Address.
Credit Idaho Statesman

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter backed recommendations from an Idaho education task force, saying his top priority in 2014 and beyond will be restoring funding to school districts that have suffered recession-fueled cuts since 2008.

Otter told a Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce crowd Tuesday his top spending priority will be restoring $82.5 million in operational revenue lost by Idaho's 115 school districts.

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Higher Education
11:41 am
Tue August 27, 2013

Idaho Education Board Approves Law School Expansion

Credit j3net / Flickr Creative Commons

The Idaho Board of Education has approved a plan to allow second-year University of Idaho law students to take classes in Boise.

It's the second time the state board has granted the request from UI — but last year the budget approval for the expansion was voted down in the Legislature.

UI Vice President for Finance and Administration Ron Smith says he's hopeful that this year lawmakers will support the expansion.

Third-year curriculum is already being offered at the UI's law school program in Boise.

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Common Core
5:50 am
Tue August 27, 2013

Common Core: What Your Kindergartner Needs To Learn This Year

Credit Elle Moxley / StateImpact Indiana

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.

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4:07 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Idaho Education Task Force Sends Recommendations To Governor

Credit Malate269 / Wikimedia Commons

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. 

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Charter Schools
5:56 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

North Star Charter Reaches Agreement With Meridian, Will Stay Open This Year

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.

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College Prep
4:55 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Idaho Students Outperform Nation On ACT


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.

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Higher Education
1:44 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Boise State University Begins Process Of Prioritization

Credit Boise State University

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.

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11:43 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Idaho's Education Task Force Recommends Raising Teachers' Base Salaries

Credit Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman

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.

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Nampa Financial Crisis
11:40 am
Tue August 20, 2013

Judge Rules Against Nampa School District Over Mid-Year Contract Change

Today is the first day back to school for these Nampa elementary students.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

The Nampa School District was out of line when it asked teachers to sign a contract addendum to include furlough days.

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8:58 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Should Gym Class Be Required For Idaho High School Students? It's Under Consideration

Idaho's State Board of Education is scheduled to vote Thursday on statewide physical education requirements for high school students.

The Idaho Statesman reports 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.

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Native American Mascots
4:18 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Kitzhaber Threatens Veto Of Native-American Mascot Bill

Chris Lehman Northwest News Network

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber is signaling his intent to veto a bill that would ease a ban on Native American mascots.

The Democrat issued a formal veto threat Wednesday.

Fifteen Oregon schools use Native American mascots like Warriors, Indians and Braves. Last year, the state Board of Education voted to give those schools until 2017 to get rid of them.

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9:19 am
Mon August 5, 2013

Idaho's Lowest Performing Schools Have Among The Highest Rates Of Poverty

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

The Idaho Department of Education released its school rankings last week for the 2012-2013 school year. Before the updated list came out, we told you there was a strong connection between poverty and low achieving schools based on the 2011-2012 rankings.

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Education Technology
5:15 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

200 Idaho Schools Signed Up For State Wi-Fi Contract

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.

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School Rankings
5:04 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

More Five Star And Fewer One Star Schools In Idaho’s New Ranking

The blue ring represents the 2011/2012 school year.
Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

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.

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8:35 am
Thu August 1, 2013

Why Poverty Matters In Idaho School Rankings

Adams Elementary is on Boise's historic Warm Springs Avenue. It was ranked as a 5 star school last year.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

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.

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