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Posts tagged: john goedde

Idaho House, Senate education chairs urge support for Idaho core standards

Idaho House and Senate education chairman Rep. Reed DeMordaunt, R-Eagle, and Sen. John Goedde, R-Coeur d’Alene, have penned a joint “Open Letter to Idaho Legislators” they distributed to Idaho newspapers, among others, this afternoon, urging that the state stick with its new Idaho Core Standards for student achievement in math and English. “We urge you to stay the course,” the two write. “We have raised our academic standards in Idaho and increased expectations for every student to make sure they graduate from high school prepared to be successful. Now is not the time to go backwards.”

The two take on recent criticisms of the standards, including:

  • “A few have said this state-led effort will lead to a national curriculum. But Idaho law prevents this: Idaho Code 33-512 specifically outlines that curriculum adoption is up to the locally elected school board. This is how it was in the past under state academic standards, and this is how it remains today.”
  • “Some have claimed that the state should slow down because the standards were ‘rushed through.’ Yet, Idaho is three years into a six-year process of development and implementation. … It will be another two years before the state administers the first test measuring students against these new, higher standards.”
  • “Several parents have voiced concerns about the collection of data. While these concerns are not related to the standards in any way, we share these concerns. … That’s why Sen. Goedde is working on a bill that would prohibit the State Department of Education from sharing individual student data in the future. Supt. Luna is fully supportive of this legislation.”

They also note that the standards have widespread support, “not just from us, but from every education, child advocacy and business group in the state.” You can read the two lawmakers’ full article here.

Goedde to K-12 interim committee: ‘Huge task ahead of us’

“We’ve got a huge task ahead of us,” Senate Education Chairman John Goedde, R-Coeur d’Alene, declared as he convened the first meeting of the Legislature’s K-12 Educational System Interim Committee this morning in the Lincoln Auditorium; you can listen live here. Goedde added, “Some of which was done by the governor’s task force and we will get a report on that. Some things outside of what the governor’s task force addressed will be also on the table for us. Our challenge, as I see it, is taking all these recommenations into consideration and moving forward. An interim committee report or a task force report that sits on a shelf someplace is worth nothing, so the challenge is implementation.”

This morning, the panel will hear a report from Don Soltman, president of the State Board of Education, and Mike Rush, executive director of the Office of the State Board of Education; from Tom Luna, state K-12 schools superintendent; and Richard Westerberg of the state board, who will give an update on the governor’s task force and its recent recommendations.

Then representatives of the Idaho Association of School Administrators, the Idaho School Boards Association and the Idaho Education Association will make presentations on their perspective on challenges and needs in the K-12 educational system. After that, the rest of the day’s agenda is mostly devoted to considering the longitudinal data systems the state has been implementing in both K-12 schools and higher education, how it’s working and what could be improved.

Idaho alters school WiFi deal under pressure from lawmakers

Under pressure from state lawmakers, Idaho’s State Department of Education and Education Networks of America have agreed to a change in their statewide high school WiFi deal: ENA will be paid only for the schools it actually connects, rather than a flat fee for all eligible schools whether they participate or not.  hat could lower the price for the contract’s first year from $2.11 million to $1.89 million, but key lawmakers say they still have questions about the deal.

“To me, it made no sense being charged the same whether one school signed up or every school signed up,” said Senate Education Chairman John Goedde, R-Coeur d’Alene. But, he said, “The concessions didn’t necessarily satisfy all my concerns. Whether the concessions they’ve made will be palatable enough for the Legislature to appropriate funds again is the real issue.”

State Superintendent of Schools Tom Luna signed the five- to 15-year contract with Nashville, Tenn.-based ENA in July, based on a one-time appropriation from the Legislature of $2.25 million for the upcoming school year. But the contract runs for five years, with options to renew for up to 15 years. It includes a clause that if lawmakers don’t budget money in future years, the contract will end. But it also says the contractor – ENA – owns all the equipment it installs, including miles of cabling to be installed in every Idaho high school to provide wireless networks, and if the contract ends, it must remove everything it’s installed.

Goedde said the cabling issue is another one that concerns him. “I have no problem with them pulling out devices,” he said. “Devices age quickly, and what they install today, in two years will probably be outdated. But I do have an issue with the cable.” An insurance agent, Goedde said, “Any time anybody installs something in a building, it becomes a part of the building.” ENA offered only a partial concession on the cabling, saying it would renounce its ownership rights after the first full five-year term; you can read my full story here at spokesman.com.

Lawmakers urged to reconsider voter-rejected rollback in teacher collective bargaining rights

Idaho voters rejected a rollback in teachers’ collective bargaining rights in the November election, but the state’s school boards association is gearing up to try to put some of the same provisions right back into Idaho’s laws. “We really tried to focus on the things that the trustees felt were most important to them, and to leave the rest of it alone,” said Karen Echeverria, executive director of the Idaho School Boards Association. “We hoped that the union would support at least parts of this – we know they won’t be able to support all of it.”

 Among the provisions the school boards group wants to revive: A June 10 deadline by which, if districts haven’t reached agreements with their local teachers unions, they can just impose contract terms unilaterally. At least 16 Idaho school districts did that this year; you can read my full story here at spokesman.com. “It’s Proposition 1 right back up there again,” said Maria Greeley, a Boise school trustee who opposed the resolution at last month’s state school boards association conference. “I’m not saying that everything in it is bad. … The one piece that concerns me the most is that deadline, because it gives districts the opportunity to abuse the negotiation process. It doesn’t make them come in and do the tough work of working through it.”

Senator John Goedde, R-Coeur d’Alene, chairman of the Senate Education Committee, said of the voters’ rejection of Proposition 1 by 57 percent, “I guess you can interpret that any way you want. They rejected Prop 1 in totality. I don’t know that that means there aren’t parts of Prop 1 that they would not support.”  He said he expects legislation along the lines of the ISBA resolution to “move forward fairly early in the process” when lawmakers convene in January. “I think we will get lobbied very hard by members of the school boards association, locally elected trustees, to move that forward,” Goedde said. “And if locally elected trustees are supportive of that, I think it deserves a hearing and discussion.”

Goedde ponders whether to continue as Senate Ed chair or not…

Coeur d'Alene Sen. John Goedde, who's just won re-election to a seventh term in the Senate, says he may or may not continue as the Senate Education Committee chairman. “I would be in line to take the Commerce & Human Resources chairmanship, and that's something that I spent … years being involved with as a small businessman,” said Goedde, an insurance agent. “And I would not have the hassle of dealing with the leadership of the IEA there.”

Clearly stung by the defeat of Propositions 1, 2 and 3, the “Students Come First” school reform measures - of which Goedde was the lead legislative sponsor and which the Idaho Education Association opposed - he said he'll “withhold judgment on how serious the IEA is on looking at education reform” until he sees what vision the teachers union proposes for future reform. “If the union is sincere in looking at reform, I think they need to be included,” Goedde said. “But if it's going to be 'not only no but hell no,' which has kind of been their prior approach to this, then it's a futile effort to include them.”

Goedde said by seniority, if he were to leave the education chairmanship, the next person eligible would be Sen. Monty Pearce, R-New Plymouth, who now chairs the Resources Committee. And if he didn't want to, the next would be Sen. Russ Fulcher, R-Meridian, who now serves in leadership as caucus chairman.

Goedde said, “But with that said, I also made a commitment that I'd see this reform through the end, and I don't know that I can jump ship mid-term.” Goedde said, “I spoke with the pro-tem this morning, and I'll speak with him again at the legislative tour.” Lawmakers will gather for their North Idaho Legislative Tour starting on Sunday; it's in Moscow and Lewiston this year. The three-day event will be the first chance for jockeying to begin for leadership races; it'll also be the first chance for lawmakers to chew over the election result together. “We need to sit down as a majority caucus and talk about where we go from here,” Goedde said.

School reforms draw candidates in North Idaho legislative district

Two decades ago, Coeur d'Alene's delegation to the state Legislature was all-Democrat, like most of the North Idaho Panhandle back then. Now, it's all-Republican, but District 4, which takes in the city, was the last Panhandle district to send a Democrat to Boise - and Democratic Rep. George Sayler's fourth term just ended two years ago. Now a new crop of Democrats, all first-time candidates and opponents of Idaho's controversial school reform laws, is trying to retake the district's seats. You can read my full story here on the district's races this fall.

Goedde named to NCSL education post

State Sen. John Goedde, R-Coeur d’Alene, has been appointed co-chairman of the education committee for the National Conference of State Legislatures, one of 12 standing committees of NCSL, the bipartisan organization serves legislators and staffs of all states with research, technical assistance and more. Goedde is chairman of the Senate Education Committee, a post he’s held for the past six years; he’s served on the committee for 10 years. He’s also a former Coeur d’Alene school trustee, and he serves on the University of Idaho-Coeur d’Alene Advisory Board and the North Idaho College Foundation Board. Click here for the full announcement.

Goedde is currently seeking a sixth term in the Senate; he has no Democratic challenger, but faces independent Jeremy Boggess and Constitution Party candidate Ray Writz on the November ballot.

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About this blog

Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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