Education

heritagecommunitycharter.com

Caldwell’s Heritage Community Charter School has been open for a year. And Thursday its board of directors heard harsh criticism from Idaho’s Public Charter School Commission. 

Commission members say they’ve never seen so many problems at one school, including the inability of the board to understand finances. Tamara Baysinger, the commission’s director, says it’s more complicated than just the board.

fafsaexpress.com

The Jerome School District has been chosen to participate in a national program to get students to apply for college financial aid. 92 districts were chosen randomly from among the applicants; Jerome is the only one in Idaho. The pilot project gives schools the ability to see which of their students have not completed the FAFSA, which determines who is eligible for federal college aid.  School councilors can then encourage students to fill out the paper work.  The U.S.

facebook.com/studentscomefirst

Many school districts in Idaho are negotiating teacher contracts. And because of the Students Come First education laws that passed last year, those negotiations now have to be done in full view of the public.

Before Students Come First all the public usually saw of school district contracts was the finished agreement. Now you can watch every offer and counter-offer, and every back and forth of the negotiation. This is the second year that’s been true. Students Come First went into effect in April of 2011. Many districts begin negotiations in April.

baseball.isport.com

The Nampa school district is short about two and a half million dollars for next year. The district and the local teachers’ union are trying to find a way to balance that budget in their annual contract negotiations. The district’s first offer made up the shortfall largely through teacher furloughs, an idea that didn’t go over well with the Nampa Education Association. After some back and forth, the latest proposal on the table calls for the district to make deep budget cuts instead. The largest part of that comes from staff reduction, mostly through attrition.

mfdudu / Flickr

More than 100 Idaho schools have been selected to receive a federal grant to give kids more fresh fruits and vegetables. The grants are meant to provide healthy snacks outside of the school lunch and breakfast program.

sde.idaho.gov

Idaho schools superintendent Tom Luna has a new role in Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. Luna has been named an education policy advisor to Romney.  Luna has been one of Romney’s biggest Idaho supporters throughout the primary process and says he’s advised the former governor informally. Romney laid out his education priorities in a speech in Washington Wednesday. Nearly everything he talked about is part of Luna’s Students Come First public education laws that passed the Idaho Legislature last year.

U. of Idaho President Weighs In On Football Future

May 24, 2012

University of Idaho President Duane Nellis says the university continues to weigh all of its options regarding the future of its football program.

In the volatile world of intercollegiate football conferences, the issue for some schools remains: where will they be playing in the future? The Western Athletic Conference, for example, has seen several football programs leave for other conferences, leaving the University of Idaho and New Mexico State behind. Nellis says the UI is looking at its options.

Students in Boise schools will pay more for lunch this fall. And lunch prices in other districts are likely to go up as well.

Peggy Bodnar says the Boise School District has tried hard to keep from raising the lunch price. But the district’s Food Service Supervisor says now they have to. She explains, “there were numerous changes that came about with that Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.”

Oregon Bans American Indian Sports Mascots In Schools

May 18, 2012
Colin Fogarty / Northwest News Network

Native American-themed sports mascots will no longer be allowed in Oregon public schools. That's the decision Thursday by the state Board of Education. The vote was 5 to 1.

Fifteen high schools in Oregon's 197 districts have mascots like Indians, Braves and Chiefs. The new rule phases them out by July of 2017. There is room for Warriors as a team name, as long as the imagery that goes with it is not about Native Americans.

University of Idaho

The memorial service for University of Idaho football player Ken McRoyal is next Wednesday in Carson, California. McRoyal was shot to death last weekend in the Lincoln Heights section of Los Angeles.

payettecounty.info

The Payette School District is considering an unusual way to boost student attendance. Middle school principal Rick Hale has proposed a quarterly reward worth about $20 for perfect attendance. Students could choose between free admission to dances or sporting events, transportation to away games for athletes, or movie passes. He says overall, school attendance is pretty good.  He just wants to get more students in class, more often.

Northwest News Network

The Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps and University of Idaho alumnus, General James Amos, delivered the commencement address at the University of Idaho in Moscow Saturday. He told graduates the country stands waiting for young men and women of character.

A native of Idaho and a 1970 graduate of the UI, General Amos returned to Moscow as the first career aviator to become commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, a position he’s held since 2010.

nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard

A study called the Nation’s Report Card for science came out last week. Idaho students scored 14th nationally. At the same time education leaders from across the state met to discuss how to improve the state’s science education. Last week’s STEM Summit brought together, teachers, administrators, politicians, and business leaders from all over Idaho to talk about the future of science, technology, engineering and math education. Brenda Gardunia was one of the speakers. She’s a long time Boise teacher and is working for the National Science Foundation through an Albert Einstein Fellowship.

Honorary Degree: What Is It Good For?

May 11, 2012
Helen Graham / Flickr

At graduation ceremonies across the Northwest this spring, a handful of people will receive what are known as “honorary degrees.” Typically, they’re awarded to distinguished humanitarians, writers and entrepreneurs. But what, if anything, can you actually do with an honorary degree?

nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard

A study often called The Nation's Report Card came out Thursday. The National Center for Education Statistics gave eighth graders a new science test in 2009 and gave it again in 2011. None of the states did worse last year, 16 did better, most scored about the same. Idaho was one of those. But NCES’s Arnold Goldstein says Idaho did well on the science test overall.

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