Education

Nampa Financial Crisis
5:57 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

Nampa Teachers Likely To Get 14 Furlough Days But Negotiations Aren't Done

Things like class size that could impact students and teachers, like those in this Nampa elementary class, could still be negotiated.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

The Nampa School District and its teachers’ union, the Nampa Education Association (NEA), could not reach an agreement Friday on next year’s contract terms. But the district will still send teachers their contracts. State law requires that contracts go out by July 1. However, they will be incomplete.

The state’s third largest district has been embroiled in a budget crisis since last summer. The district says it needs to trim more than $3 million through this labor agreement.

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Charter Schools
1:58 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Meridian School District Wants To Pull The Charter Of Financially Troubled North Star School

The Meridian School District wants to revoke the charter of one of the state’s biggest charter schools according to Idaho Education News. North Star Charter in Eagle has more than 900 students and has received national recognition for academic rigor.

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Higher Education
11:21 am
Wed June 26, 2013

Study: Idaho Workers Need Even More Education After High School

Boise State University winter commencement 2011.
Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Nearly 290,000 new jobs will open in Idaho over the next seven years. That’s from a study released Wednesday by Georgetown University’s Center for Education and the Workforce. 

Here are some highlights of Georgetown’s predictions for 2020:

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Education
12:50 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

Why Idaho May Be Closer Than It Knows To Realizing Its Top Education Goal

Mike Rush facilitating the first meeting of the board's Task Force For Improving Education earlier this year. At that meeting the task force voted to make the state's 60 percent goal their own.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

There’s a goal that drives much of what Idaho does in its education system. That goal is for 60 percent of 25-to 34-year-olds to get post-high school education by the year 2020.

That goal gets a lot of attention but, you don’t often hear that it’s broken down into categories. Mike Rush, executive director of Idaho’s State Board of Education says there are three different goals within the larger one.

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Education
4:53 am
Mon June 24, 2013

Idaho's Top Education Priority Based On Disputed Data

Bob Uhlenkott
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

The state of Idaho has a singular goal when it comes to education. Everyone is pulling for it, from the State Board to the Governor’s Task Force for Improving Education. It’s that 60 percent of Idahoans between 25 and 34-years-old will have a post-secondary degree or certificate by 2020.

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Common Core
9:14 am
Fri June 21, 2013

Idaho Students To Take A New Common Core Exam This Year, But It Doesn't Count

A Nampa elementary student works on a classroom computer. Idaho students already take their state assessment, the ISAT, on computers but the new Common Core linked exam will be much more high tech. It will use computer adaptive technology which will tailor question difficulty to how a student answered previous questions.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

This week the U.S. Department of Education offered states an extension on including tests tied to the new Common Core state standards in teacher evaluations. Idaho won’t take that extension. The state is actually moving up some of its Common Core testing.

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Teacher Education
3:17 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Few Gold Stars For Idaho's Teacher Training Programs

Teacher preparation programs at Idaho universities were on par with the rest of the country in a new study. But the country as a whole did terribly. The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) looked at more than 1,000 teacher education programs around the U.S.

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School Counselors
10:37 pm
Sun June 16, 2013

Idaho Education Department Says No To Hiring More Counselors

Getting more Idahoans to go on to college is the top education goal for the state. But sometimes state agencies disagree about how to realize that. Take a report issued last year by Idaho’s Office of Performance Evaluations. OPE evaluates state agencies and programs.

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Nampa Financial Crisis
7:16 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Nampa Teacher’s Union Calls For Raises And No Furloughs Next Year

Credit Courtesy of the Idaho Statesman

Teacher contract negotiations in the Nampa School District appear stalled.  The teacher’s union Thursday night pushed for raises and no furlough days. The district had proposed 14 furlough days next year. 

Nampa has been fighting through a budget crisis all year. It’s eliminated jobs, closed one school and made numerous other cuts.  But district officials say they still need to cut $3.5 million from next year’s budget.  

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Education
2:53 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Idaho High School Drops Redskins Logo And Mascot

The top administrator for an eastern Idaho high school says the school will drop its longtime Redskins nickname, logo and mascot in a move to show respect for Native Americans.

Superintendent Monte Woolstenhulm announced earlier this week that Teton High School in Driggs will begin searching for a new nickname and mascot.

He says the decision was motivated by the need to teach students to see beyond skin color and assumptions based on appearances.

Education Technology
7:41 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Why Sun Valley Area Schools Are In The Software Business

Credit newfilm.dk / Flickr Creative Commons

A Boise software company Wednesday will announce a cash infusion from investors totaling $2.5 million. Silverback Learning Solutions hasn’t been doing business two years yet, but CEO Jim Lewis says its sales total more than a million dollars and it has 20 full time employees. It also has one unusual partner that gets 8 percent of profits; the Blaine County School District. Lewis retired from his job as Blaine County’s superintendent to form the company.

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Preschool
9:17 am
Mon June 10, 2013

Why One Idaho Republican Became An Unlikely Champion For Public Preschool

Tim Corder
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Republican Tim Corder served two terms in Idaho’s state Senate. During that time, the farmer and truck driver became a hero to pre-kindergarten advocates and earned the ire of some of his colleagues. Corder's legislative career ended last year when he lost his primary race to a more conservative opponent. I met him last summer as he was packing up his senate office. Here is an excerpt of our conversation.

Q: How would you characterize your support for early childhood education during your time in the legislature?

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Preschool
5:45 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Idaho Opposition To Public Preschool Is About Money And Ideology

Idaho Schools Superintendent Tom Luna
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho is one of just 10 states that don’t have a state-supported preschool program. As we’ve examined the reasons for that this week, we’ve heard from some pre-k opponents. Here we go deeper into their arguments.

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Preschool
4:57 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Idaho Would Get $20 Million Under President Obama's Plan To Expand Preschool

President Obama visits a kindergarten class in Georgia.
Credit Pete Souza / The White House Flickr Creative Commons

President Obama’s proposal to expand early childhood education could bring nearly $20 million to Idaho the first year. The president has been talking about increasing access to pre-kindergarten education for months and has proposed raising tobacco taxes to pay for it.

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Preschool
11:17 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

Why Caldwell Might Represent The Future Of Public Preschool In Idaho

P-16 preschoolers practice reading and writing their names.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho is one of just 10 states that do not have state-wide pre-kindergarten. But some school districts are finding ways to provide early childhood education. In Caldwell, public and private partners are trying a novel strategy that supporters hope will transform children’s futures.

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Technology
8:03 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Idaho To Turn All Public High Schools Into WiFi Hotspots

Credit Malate269 / Wikimedia Commons

Across the Northwest, students are wrapping up their school year. By the time Idaho high school students return in the fall, their classrooms will be on their way to becoming wireless hotspots. The Idaho Department of Education is preparing to spend more than $2 million to put high-speed wireless Internet in all public high schools.

It's part of what Idaho education officials like to call the “21st Century Classroom.” They're asking for bids over the summer on a contract to have WiFi up and running across the state by March 2014.

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Preschool
10:06 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

Idaho School Districts Take On Public Preschool Without State Funding

Pre-k advocates often stress that preschool is not three and four year olds in desks doing worksheets. Learning is embedded in play.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Forty U.S. states offer pre-kindergarten programs.  Idaho is not one of them.  Here, about one third of 3 and 4-year-olds attend a public or private preschool.  But none attend one that’s funded or sanctioned by the state. However, that doesn't stop some school districts from offering pre-k programs of their own.

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Pre-K Education
6:59 am
Tue June 4, 2013

State Of Idaho Lags On Preschool, Districts Lead

In 2008 the Boise State Public Policy Center asked Idahoans for their opinions on early childhood issues including this question.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho is one of just 10 states that don’t have state-wide pre-kindergarten education. This week our education reporter Adam Cotterell brings us a series on pre-k in Idaho. Adam joined Morning Edition host Scott Graf to preview this week’s reports.

Transcript:

Scott Graf: You’ll be talking about the pre-k debate in Idaho. Are others talking about this issue?   

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Preschool
6:20 am
Tue June 4, 2013

Map: Idaho Is One Of 10 States Without Public Preschool

Explore the interactive map below.
Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho is one of 10 states that doesn't offer public preschool to children. Over the next few days we'll examine why the Gem State doesn't have free pre-k, what impact that's having on kids, and the current discussion around early childhood education in Idaho.

But first, here's a map that shows the 10 states without public preschool. The states shaded in coral don't offer preschool. One thing we noticed, they're mostly concentrated in the West. Use the zoom and arrow tools to move around the map and explore.

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Nampa Financial Crisis
11:53 am
Mon June 3, 2013

The Nampa Teachers’ Union Responds To District Furlough Offer

Amy White (seen here negotiating in Meridian last year) is representing the Nampa School District in negotiations.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Untenable, harmful, devastating; three adjectives Nampa Education Association president Mandy Simpson uses in response to the school district's contract offer. That offer includes 14 furlough days.

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