Education

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.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Results come out Thursday from Idaho’s first mandated SAT exam. The state paid the tab for more than 16,000 high school juniors to take the college entrance exam this year. It cost tax payers more than $900,000.

Joe Lovelace is a junior at Boise High. He wants a score that will get him in to Dartmouth or Cornell. Lovelace says he’ll check the SAT website first thing. “I have to leave for school about 6:15 to get to jazz band, " he says.  So he'll probably try to check his score around 5:45.

bigfuture.collegeboard.org

Results will be released tomorrow  for the 16,ooo high school juniors who took the SAT a few weeks ago. This is the first year Idaho has paid for all juniors to take the college entrance exam. It’s part of a new set of graduation requirements that go into effect for the class of 2013.

Senate Republicans in Washington, D.C. blocked a Democratic bill to keep some student loan interest rates from doubling.  U.S. Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID) was among them.

Crapo says most lawmakers want to keep subsidized Stafford loan rates at their current 3.4 percent.  Republicans and Democrats, though, disagree on how to pay for it. 

Boise State University, campus
Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Friday Boise State University’s President goes before students and faculty to talk about the school’s 2013 budget. That includes a tuition increase and, for the first time in years, a boost in state funding. BSU’s increase from the state is larger than either ISU or the University of Idaho in part because it’s had faster student growth. 

Two Idaho high school students have been named U.S. Presidential Scholars for 2012. Casey Davis of Idaho Falls and Katherine Waltar of Post Falls were chosen by a White House commission for their excellence in academics, arts, leadership, citizenship, service, and contributions to school and community. Waltar’s principal at Coeur D’Alene Charter Academy says that list of qualifications defines her character. Dan Nicklay says Waltar is always smiling even when working hard and she’s almost always working hard.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

The U.S. House has yet to reauthorize the Violence against Women Act which passed the Senate last week. That act supports programs across the country including the Idaho Coalition against Sexual and Domestic Violence. But the coalition also uses a private grant to teach young teens about healthy relationships.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Tuesday night high school artists decorated the sidewalks around the Boise Art Museum with chalk. Each chalk drawing was inspired by a winning poem from a statewide poetry contest. More than 1,600 students entered this competition.  One hundred three were selected for publication. One tiny school produced nine of those winners.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Friday Idaho’s statewide teacher’s union began its two day annual assembly in Boise to lay down an agenda for the coming year. Many of the Idaho Education Association’s priorities come back to one item.

idahoea.org

More than 400 teachers from throughout Idaho are in Boise Friday and Saturday. They’re delegates to an assembly of the statewide teachers union. This is the 120th time the Idaho Education Association has held this annual meeting. But  this year is a little different.

Every year members of the IEA elect delegates to set the organization’s agenda. This year they’ll meet just like always. Delegates will make proposals, take votes and set priorities for the next year. But this time around there’s already an item on their list.

boardofed.idaho.gov

Idaho’s Board of Education gave the state’s universities the go ahead Wednesday to raise tuition. This spring a full time student at Boise State University paid nearly $2,800 in tuition and fees, a little more at the University of Idaho.

“Right now in total student tuition and fees they’re paying $2,928. They will be paying 3,106,” says Keith Ickes the University of Idaho’s budget director. He says that tuition increase will start this fall thanks to Wednesday’s State Board of Education decision. The University asked for and got permission to raise tuition by 6.1 percent.

Tom Luna Defends Policies During Moscow Visit

Apr 18, 2012
Office of Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction

Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna finished his post- legislative tour in Moscow on Tuesday, speaking with educators and administrators about the education reform laws approved by the state legislature.

Luna said his plan will fund a one-to-one ratio of students to laptops in Idaho classrooms, not replace teachers with technology. “Laptops are not replacing teachers, no more than when they invented the printing press and we started putting books in schools that books replaced teachers.”

It didn’t take long for supporters of the University of Idaho to raise the issue of putting "flagship" back in the university's proposed mission statement. They brought the matter up Wednesday at the Idaho State Board of Education meeting in Moscow. 

Molly Messick / StateImpact Idaho

The Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy released a report last week questioning the constitutionality of Idaho’s education funding system.  Director of the center and former longtime chief state economist Mike Ferguson authored the report.  Two of the largest

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