Idaho Department Of Education

11:23 am
Thu September 19, 2013

Mandatory Gym Class And Cursive Writing? Idaho Seeks Public Input

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho’s Department of Education is proposing several new rules that would affect what kids learn. But creating a new education rule in Idaho is a bit like a soccer game. There’s a long period of passing back and forth before the goal is reached. Take this one: a proposal to require elementary students learn cursive handwriting.

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Education Technology
2:51 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

School Wi-Fi Contractor Drops Price After Pressure From Idaho Lawmakers

Credit roland / Flickr Creative Commons

A company installing wireless Internet networks in Idaho public schools says it will reduce the contract's price tag amid pressure from lawmakers who question the deal.

The Spokesman-Review reported Friday that Tennessee-based Education Networks of America and the State Department of Education agreed the company will be paid only for schools it connects with Wi-Fi system, not get a flat fee.

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9:19 am
Mon August 5, 2013

Idaho's Lowest Performing Schools Have Among The Highest Rates Of Poverty

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

The Idaho Department of Education released its school rankings last week for the 2012-2013 school year. Before the updated list came out, we told you there was a strong connection between poverty and low achieving schools based on the 2011-2012 rankings.

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Education Technology
5:15 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

200 Idaho Schools Signed Up For State Wi-Fi Contract

About 200 Idaho high schools have signed up to get Wi-Fi internet under the state’s new contract with a Tennessee-based company. Signing that contract brought the state’s Department of Education under fire last week. Some lawmakers thought the multi-year agreement violated the spirit of what the legislature had authorized the department to do when it set aside $2.25 million for Wi-Fi in the coming school year.

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7:44 am
Thu July 25, 2013

Idaho Signs Contract For High School Wi-Fi Amid Storm Of Criticism

Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Luna.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho’s Department of Education signed a contract Wednesday for $2.1 million a year with Tennessee-based company Education Networks of America (ENA) to provide Wi-Fi internet access to the state’s high schools. But that came after a day of criticism around the decision.

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Education Technology
4:48 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

11 Idaho Schools To Share $3 Million For Technology Pilot Projects

Shelby Harris uses Khan Academy and her Google Chromebooks for what's sometimes called a flipped classroom. Students get part of their instruction online so she can spend most of her time working with individuals or small groups.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho’s Department of Education has announced 11 schools will share $3 million for technology pilot projects.

Eighty-one schools applied for the grants. The requests totaled nearly $20 million.

Here are the schools that get the money and what they plan to do with it.

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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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Four Day School Weeks
5:31 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Idaho Schools Switch To Four Day Weeks Knowing They Won’t Save Much Money

Credit Courtesy of the Idaho Statesman

A widely circulated article says Idaho school districts won’t save much money by switching to a four day school week. Pocatello’s Idaho State Journal cites a report called “Review of a 4-Day School Week,” which says there are minimal savings when districts switch to a four day school week.

But that story fails to point out that the report was published five years ago, in 2008. Since that time the number of Idaho districts with a four day week has tripled. For some districts even small savings were a big temptation.

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Legislature 2013
9:14 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Idaho Legislature Considers Overhaul Of State’s Charter School Law

Credit Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho lawmakers are considering a re-write of the state's charter school law. Thursday they'll hear from the public.

Idaho was an early adopter of charter schools. Fifteen years ago, the state passed a law to allow the publicly funded, privately run schools to be created. Since then the only major change has been the formation of a commission to oversee charter schools. In recent years, though, Idaho has slipped from being one of the charter-friendliest states in the country to one of the least. 

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High School Graduation
5:06 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Idaho High School Graduation Rate In Nation’s Top Ten, But New Counting System May Change That

Idaho’s high school graduation rate is better than all but nine states with 84 percent of students graduating on time. That’s according to a report out this week from the U.S. Department of Education. But the annual report has a multi-year lag.  This one looks at the 2009-2010 school year.

It also uses a method of counting grads and dropouts that even the authors consider antiquated. It compares the number of diplomas a state hands out with the number of students registered for 9th grade four years earlier.

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Students Come First
4:39 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

Otter Wants Group To Study Idaho Education Options

Credit State of Idaho

Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter has asked the State Board of Education to shepherd a statewide discussion about improving education for students.

Otter said Thursday a broadly representative group of Idahoans yet to be selected will study options that could lead to changes without lawmakers creating new laws.

But he says if the group determines legislation is necessary, lawmakers could take up the ideas in 2014.

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School Safety
4:24 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Idaho To Revive School Safety Group

Idaho’s Department of Education will reconvene a group that made safety recommendations for Idaho schools four years ago. That’s from a memo that schools’ superintendent Tom Luna sent Monday to district leaders, charter school administrators and school principals. The memo comes in response to Friday’s school shooting in Connecticut.

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4:20 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

How Idaho’s Juniors Fared On The SAT

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.

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5:57 pm
Thu September 6, 2012

Idaho School Chief Wants More Money For Teacher Bonus Plan

Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna explained his budget proposal to education reporters Thursday.
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.

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