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Posts tagged: IEA

IEA fights task force licensure details

The state’s largest teachers’ association is pushing back against a reworked teacher licensure system — a recommendation that received unanimous support from an education reform task force last August. Idaho Education Association President Penni Cyr said her organization opposes tying a teacher’s statewide license to evaluations performed at the school district level.

Gov. Butch Otter’s Task Force for Improving Education unanimously approved recommendations for a tiered teacher licensure system. A related proposal would increase educators’ salaries to $40,000, $50,000 or $60,000 based on movement between the three-tiered licensure system.

Cyr and IEA representatives from Meridian, Sandpoint and Pocatello all voted for the tiered licensure and career ladder when the task force recommendations were approved Aug. 23.

While the IEA opposes tying licensure to local evaluations, Cyr said her group has not changed its position.

“The IEA strongly supports the concept of a career ladder and tiered licensure, but the devil is in the details,” Cyr said. More here. Clark Corbin, Idaho Ed News

Should licensure be tied to evaluations performed at the school district level?




IEA Reflects On 2013 Legislature

Just over five months ago, Idaho voters rejected the three laws known as Propositions 1, 2, and 3. Now, less than 200 days later, a series of laws limiting school teacher contract rights is back on the books. How did this happen? What does it say about Idaho policymaking, policymakers and politics? More importantly, what will be the short and long term effects of these laws on our education system and the teaching profession? Teachers are a resilient lot; it’s a hallmark of our profession and a key to long-term success in the classroom. This quality has come in handy the past few years, which have been turbulent with respect to education policy. Even before the November election, we held numerous internal dialogues and debates about how to move forward after the election/IEA President Penny Cyr, IdahoED News. More here.

Question: Will Idaho voters hold GOP legislator and Gov. Butch Otter responsible for bringing back and passing parts of the voter-rejected Propositions 1, 2 and 3?

Study: IEA ‘Thugs’ Relatively Weak

While Idaho's teachers union has been accused of union thuggery during the intense campaign on Propositions 1, 2 and 3, the state ranks just 36th in union strength nationwide, according to a study released Monday by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute and Education Reform Now. The report says Idaho has the seventh-highest rate of teachers laid off annually due to poor performance, with 3.5 percent let go every year. Union membership ranks 35th, with 62 percent of teachers in unions, and union revenue ranks 29th, at $444 annually per teacher. The Ohio-based Fordham Institute's board includes former U.S. Education Secretary Rod Paige, who was Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna's boss during the George W. Bush administration/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here. (IEA photo of President Penni Cyr)

Question: Izzit just me, or do you also think that the real motivation behind the Luna-Law propositions is to drive the last nail into the coffin of the teachers union while giving Republican legislators cover to further underfund education?

IFF: Prop 1 About Union Power

I have read just about every school labor union agreement in the state and have yet to find a single one that was written to protect the interests of children, their safety and the availability of classroom supplies. I point this out simply because the labor unions have released a new ad in opposition to Proposition 1. The unions are asking you to vote no using a sanctimoniously deceptive rationale for why they believe the law to be bad public policy. “Prop 1 prohibits teachers from negotiating over important things like overcrowded classrooms, supplies and student safety,” says the newest ad from the Vote No crowd. From this, you should draw upon imagery of teachers in chainmail plunging their swords through the leathery chests of those uncaring, fiendish school board members and smiting the villainy from their evil beating hearts, all for the betterment of students. Great scenes for a movie script, I should think. But Prop 1 isn’t about teachers fighting for students. Prop 1 is about union bosses fighting for unions. Prop 1 is about union power, nothing more/Wayne Hoffman, Idaho Freedom Foundation. More here.

Question: Is it good practice for Republicans to attack the teachers union?

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Richert: IEA: Tuesday results, a thumb’s up for schools

Heading into a Nov. 6 ballot showdown on the Students Come First education overhaul, Idaho's teachers' union sees Tuesday's school levy elections as a rallying point.

Twenty school districts held levy and bond issue elections. Voters in 19 districts, including Nampa and Kuna, said yes to school proposals.

“Tuesday’s vote was a resounding thumbs up for public schools and for local control,” Idaho Education Association President Penny Cyr said in a news release this morning. “In every part of Idaho, voters clearly reject the top-down approaches promoted by Idaho Superintendent of Public Education Tom Luna and his friends in the Idaho Legislature. More here. Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman

Do you think Luna's laws will be overturned?

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Luna: Son Of Scott Walker — McGurn

It's on. On the Idaho ballot, that is. Come November, Idahoans will vote on three referenda aimed at repealing what may be the nation's most sweeping education reform, including new limits on collective bargaining for teachers. Think of it as the sequel to Wisconsin, where similar reforms led to a similar effort—the attempted recall of Gov. Scott Walker. At the heart of the political drama in Idaho is the state's superintendent of public instruction, Tom Luna. A glance at Mr. Luna's résumé shows a career businessman who became involved in his local school board and went on to serve in the Bush Education Department before returning to Idaho to run for his present office in 2006. Most refreshing is what's not on Mr. Luna's résumé: a degree in education/William McGurn, Wall Street Journal Main Street. More here.

Question: Do you see Idaho Superintendent Tom Luna as the ideological son of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker?

IEA Sues Luna Public Ed ‘Reforms’

The Idaho Education Association filed a lawsuit in 4th District Court in Ada County today challenging the constitutionality of SB 1108, the bill to remove most collective bargaining rights from Idaho teachers, and related “trailer” bills including one adding an emergency clause to that measure. “Because the Legislature, Gov. Otter and State Superintendent Luna failed to listen to the voices of Idaho citizens and, in the case of SB 1108 and the trailer bills, overstepped their legal bounds, the IEA supports citizen efforts to place referenda on the ballot challenging the Luna laws,” said Sherri Wood, IEA president/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Merit Pay Splits YouTube Star, IEA

On Monday, Jonny Saunders, a student at Timberline High School in Boise, unleashed a powerful speech against education reform plans proposed by Superintendent Tom Luna, an address that has become a local YouTube hit, garnering more than 18,000 views in less than 48 hours on the social media site. In the speech, Saunders labeled Luna as a crook, beholden to corporate interests, and said that the reform plans would lead to a poor education system in the Gem State. During one portion of his speech, Saunders vehemently argued against merit pay, saying that the plan would ultimately lead to educators to only teach to tests. What makes his merit pay presentation particularly interesting is that it came at a pro-education rally to protest Luna’s plan but one controversial element of the plan, merit pay, is supported by the largest teachers’ organization in the state/Dustin Hurst, Idaho Reporter. More here. (Photo courtesy Idaho Reporter)

Question: Does Jonny Saunders disagreement with the teachers union on merit pay take away from his passionate speech against Superintendent Tom Luna's education “reform” proposals?

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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