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Posts tagged: Luna reforms

Luna Compares Foes To Occupiers

Republican Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna believes that opponents of having for-profit companies deliver online school courses in Idaho have a mentality not unlike protestors in the Occupy Wall Street movement. Luna also said that those worried about for-profit education companies providing online school courses might be anti-capitalist in nature. The superintendent was interviewed last week by IdahoReporter.com. “This undertone that somehow because for-profit companies are going to want to compete for educations dollars is the end of public education as we know it, that is an Occupy Wall Street argument that we see going on all across the country,” Luna said, “where there’s this attack on capitalism and an attack on profits”/Dustin Hurst, Idaho Reporter. More here.

Question: Is Luna right in comparing opponents of online education in Idaho to online foes? Or is he simply creating a straw man to marginalize opponents in the referendum campaigns next year?

Parent Attendance Affects Bonuses

Parents across Idaho will now play a role in whether or not their child’s teacher gets a raise. Teacher bonuses in more than two dozen school districts statewide will depend to some degree on how well they can engage parents throughout the year, as part of new education changes signed into law earlier this year. The laws championed by public schools chief Tom Luna carry sweeping changes for Idaho’s public schools that include phasing in laptops for high school teachers and students, while requiring online courses. School districts and public charter schools were also required to develop plans to reward employees who go above and beyond. The teacher pay-for-performance bonuses could be based on a variety of factors, including improved test scores and attendance rates/Jessie L. Bonner, AP. More here.

Question: Should parent attendance at teacher conferences be one of the ways teacher bonuses are decided?

Poll: Idahoans Unsure re: Luna Plan

New statewide opinion research finds Idahoans distinctly unsure that the educational reform efforts that dominated the state legislative session this year will help Idaho students be better prepared for learning beyond high school and to enter the workforce. My public affairs firm teamed up with respected pollster Greg Strimple and the Idaho Business Review to conduct a 400 sample survey in late April that was aimed at understanding more about where the Idaho economy may be headed and the priorities voters attach to various issues. The poll has a +/- of 4.9%. Idahoans in our survey were almost equally split: 24.5% said the Luna efforts would make students better prepared, 27.3% said less prepared, 28% said the reforms would have no difference. The rest didn’t know or declined to answer/Marc Johnson, The Johnson Post. More here.

Question: How do you interpret these numbers re: Superintendent Tom Luna's education reform?

Tribune Poll: Out W/Reforms, Luna

For those keeping score at home, 60 percent of the respondents to a current Lewiston Tribune poll support a referendum to overturn the public education “reforms” pushed through the Idaho Legislature by Superintendent of Schools Tom Luna and Gov. Butch Otter, as well as a recall of Luna. You can vote in the poll if you'd like by going to the Tribune Web site here.

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.

John Goedde ‘Dear Neighbor’ Letter

Just when I was starting to grumble more about the weather than the Idaho Legislature, I received a two-page letter from my state senator, John Goedde. In it, Goedde underline a couple of things, including the statement: “Total General Fund appropriations for Public Education (K-12) saw a modest increase of about 1% from the previous year.” Also, the chairman of the Senate Education Committee, mentions the, ahem, “measureable impact” that educators, administrators, and other interested persons had on proposals to reform education. (And you thought that the legislators didn't listen at all? Tsk. Tsk.) You have to read pretty hard between the lines to sense any of the devastation to public education wrought by the 2011 Legislature that looms ahead like Titantic's iceberg. You can read the letter to “dear neighbor” here.

Question: What do you think of Goedde's letter?

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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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