Education

yes4idaho.com

The group that wants Idaho voters to keep the Students Come First education laws in November started its active campaign Monday. A radio ad began playing on 40 stations across the state. It features Idaho First Lady Lori Otter touting advantages of the laws such as more technology in schools and bonuses for teachers.

A group of 17 year olds discuss building hydroponic greenhouses on Mars. They’re some of the Idaho high school students getting college credit before their senior year by designing a future interplanetary. The Idaho Science and Aerospace Scholars program has two summer sessions each with about forty students.  The first wrapped up over the weekend. And  a new session begins today Monday.

Education leaders from around the country are in Idaho Friday. Coeur d’Alene is the first city in Idaho to host the annual Institute. 21, a conference put on by the Partnership For 21st Century Skills.

It’s a coalition made up largely of companies that have stakes in education. It includes some big names like Apple and HP. 

It also has some non-corporate members such as philanthropic organizations and the National Education Association. Education superintendents from several states - including Idaho - are attending.

Graduation Winter Boise State Undergraduates
Emilie Ritter Saunders / StateImpact Idaho

New numbers from the U.S. Department of Education show fewer Idahoans had college degrees in 2010 than in 2009. Nearly 67,000 residents aged 25-34 had some kind of post-secondary degree in 2010. That’s just under 33 percent of that demographic. And it’s about 1,000 fewer than the year before, or a .7 percent drop. The national average is above 39 percent.

Idaho Legislature

Idaho’s teacher’s union created a hubbub when it endorsed Republican Mike Simpson in his reelection bid for Idaho's Second Congressional District. It picked Simpson over Democratic state senator and part time teacher Nicole LeFavour.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Two weeks ago, we told you that 50 kids jumped into a pool in Eagle to take part in what organizers hoped would be the world’s largest swim lesson.  They joined thousands of others around the world, to try and beat the old Guinness Book record of 19,322, set last year. 

Before the event, the Idaho swimmers were confident they would succeed.

KateMonkey / Flickr

About 6,500 Idaho high school teachers are scheduled to get laptops this fall as part of the state’s Students Come First education laws. All the state's high school students will then get computers over the next few years. But the state still doesn’t know who will provide all that hardware along with the training and maintenance. Last week the state had to change its tactics for finding a provider after it failed to get enough qualified bidders.

stevendepolo / Flickr

Five more states got waivers Friday from the federal No Child Left Behind education law. Idaho was not among them.

The battle has been joined between those who want to keep Idaho’s Students Come First education laws and those who want voters to repeal them in November. Repeal supporters launched their “Vote No on Propositions 1, 2 and 3” campaign Tuesday. Supporters of the laws have hired a campaign and lobbying firm to make the case for keeping the laws in place.

Opponents of Idaho’s Students Come First education laws launched their campaign Tuesday morning to repeal those laws. Under a banner reading "Vote No On Propositions 1,2, and 3" speakers decried aspects of the three laws.

James Sarmiento / Flickr

Educators from all over Idaho meet in Boise Tuesday and Wednesday to talk about creating 21st century classrooms. One of the themes of the EduStat conference is flipping education.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

We’ve been talking to Idaho students who have recently graduated from high school about what’s on their minds as they prepare for the next chapters in their lives.

Kassandra Ibarra got pregnant at 16. She dropped out of high school, but after her son was born she decided she needed an education to give him “the future he deserves.” When she got pregnant again she stayed in school and recently graduated from Boise’s Marian Pritchett School.

McKinsty.com

Idaho’s Blaine County School District has accused a Seattle company of racketeering. The district contracted with building company McKinstry to perform energy saving upgrades in eight district buildings for more than 15 million dollars. After the work was done the company sued the district claiming it hadn’t been paid all it was owed. Blaine County School District Business Manager Mike Chatterton says McKinstry violated their contract.

boardofed.idaho.gov

Idaho’s State Board of Education Thursday approved a plan to get more students to go on to college. It’s called Complete College Idaho and its goal is for 60 percent of Idahoans between 25 and 34 years of age to have a post-secondary degree or certificate by 2020. It includes reforms to college remediation programs and measures to decrease the amount of time it takes to earn a degree or certificate. The Board of Ed held focus groups and sent out surveys to students, teachers, businesses, and community groups to get feedback on the plan before it was approved.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Friday two dozen high school students from the Treasure Valley will present research they’ve done as part of a summer science program. Their research helps government agencies make wildfire decisions.

Bailey Maier displays a poster featuring maps of the World Center for Birds of Prey. They show what plants grow where. Maier points to one map heavily shaded in red. It’s cheatgrass she says. The red is where the invasive weed grows in heavy concentration.

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