Rocpoc / Flickr

Idaho’s most recent high school grads exceeded national averages on the SAT. The company that administers the college entrance exam released numbers Monday. 

Students who graduated in 2012 beat the national SAT scores by wide margins in all three subject areas.

Idaho 2012 grads:

  • Critical Reading – 547
  • Math – 541
  • Writing – 525

National 2012 grads:

One of the big questions surrounding the Students Come First referendum has been what will happen to teacher bonuses if voters reject the laws on November 6th.  The laws institute bonuses for teachers for things like improved student test scores and working in positions that are difficult to fill. Now Idaho’s Secretary of State Ben Ysursa says those bonuses will go out regardless of the outcome of the vote.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Everything about Concordia is new. The leather spines of the library books look un-cracked and the furniture looks like catalogue pictures. But Spencer Lay has been around the block. He's an ex-marine who did tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Boise's first three year law school is now teaching classes and Lay is a member of Concordia Law School's first class

How One Idaho School Is Fighting Childhood Obesity

Sep 17, 2012
libookperson / Flickr

We hear a lot about childhood obesity. Now one Idaho school is being honored for its efforts to fight it. Tuesday Middleton Middle School will receive the Gold Award of Distinction from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for its commitment to promoting healthy living. Middleton is only the second Idaho school to achieve that level after Jerome in 2009. Principal Molly Burger says her school has implemented all the nutrition guidelines from the USDA, things like switching to whole grain.

Why Meridian Schools Need Emergency Funding

Sep 14, 2012
wikimedia commons

As a group, property owners in Meridian and Eagle will pay half a million dollars more this year. That’s because the state’s largest school district passed an emergency levy this week. This type of levy does not require voter approval. School boards can pass them if student enrollment exceeds expectations.

How Idaho’s Juniors Fared On The SAT

Sep 10, 2012
albertogp123 / Flickr

Idaho’s SAT scores dropped this year. That’s what the state’s Department of Education expected. Monday the department released the results of its first statewide SAT day.

In April the state paid for all high school juniors to take the college entrance exam. It’s part of new graduation requirements for the class of 2013. Only two other states do this.

Nearly 17,000 Idaho juniors took the test this year.

Idaho Employee Catches Flack For Wikiediting

Sep 7, 2012
wikipedia screenshot

The online encyclopedia Wikipedia may be frowned upon in most classrooms because it’s not seen as authoritative in the classic sense. But that doesn’t change the fact that it’s a go-to source of information for millions of people around the world. So what do you do if you see a Wiki page that you think is inaccurate?

The latest community college enrollment numbers may hold a clue to what’s happening in the Northwest’s economy. Some two-year institutions in the region are seeing the first decline in class registration since the recession.

At the bookstore at North Idaho College in Coeur d’Alene, the piles of textbooks students buy are kind of like a bar graph for the local unemployment rate.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho’s School Superintendent wants the state to spend 5.1 percent more on education next year. Tom Luna released his proposed budget Thursday for fiscal year 2014. In January he’ll ask lawmakers to approve it.

Idaho’s department of education released two sets of results Friday providing different views of how the state’s schools are doing. The first is the annual Adequate Yearly Progress, or AYP, report. AYP is based on testing goals set by the state but those are largely dictated by the federal No Child Left Behind law. Under AYP a school either passes or fails, and failure comes with penalties.

YouTube Screenshot

Education in Idaho got another nod from Jeb Bush at the Republican National Convention this week.

Wednesday the former Florida governor held a fundraiser. Some of the money will go to the campaign to keep Idaho’s Student’s Come First laws.

Fourteen Idaho school districts say they’ll compete for federal Race to the Top money. Nearly 900 districts around the country have submitted intent to apply paperwork. They all want a slice of the $400 million available from the new Race to the Top-District competition.

In Idaho the Bonneville District wants the biggest share. It will apply for two grants worth between $20 million and $30 million.

The Nampa School District passed its levy this week. That means $1.6 million will be used for things like curriculum and building maintenance.

But the state’s third largest district has cut more than $5 million in other areas just in the last few months. That’s a result of two shortfalls. One of the line items taking a big hit in Nampa is the substitute teaching budget.

Last year Nampa spent $771,600 for substitute teachers. This year the district plans to cut $600,000 by using subs only for long term assignments such as maternity leave.

Why Jeb Bush Is Involved With Idaho's Education Laws

Aug 29, 2012
Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho’s Students Come First education laws got a moment in the spotlight Wednesday at the Republican National Convention. Former Florida governor Jeb Bush spoke about Idaho’s 2011 education overhaul to more than 50 people.

Bush then led a panel discussion on education reform which featured Idaho Governor Butch Otter, School Superintendent Tom Luna, and other Republican education policy luminaries.

Southwest Idaho School Levies Pass

Aug 29, 2012

Canyon County voters in Wilder, Notus, Homedale and Nampa appear to have approved school levies yesterday by wide margins. Nearly two-thirds of Nampa voted to pass a $1.6 million, two-year levy. Those same voters rejected a levy earlier this year for about twice that amount.