This week will be the first time candidates for Idaho’s Superintendent of Public Instruction will be forced to come face to face in a public forum. Better yet, we will get three doses of it as the candidates spar it out on stage across Idaho.
I encourage you to take the time to write your questions to the moderators of the debates. One of these candidates will lead Idaho’s students and teachers for the foreseeable future; let’s make sure we know their viewpoints and opinions before election.
It will be interesting to see what issues unite and divide these candidates, and how they share their logic with the audience on the stage. I will be analyzing the debates throughout the week to see what issues the candidates go on record about.
In particular, the public wants specifics on Common Core, SBAC, and tiered licensure. We’ll have to wait and see what surprises await in the upcoming debates.
I will appear at the Caldwell debate (see info below), and I sent this question to the moderator regarding my concern over tiered teacher certification:
I am a special education teacher in Caldwell. I am concerned about tying special education student’s SBAC standardized test scores to my certification and compensation under the proposed Tiered certification model.
Many of these students have behavior difficulties that impede the validity of their responses. For example, I work primarily with students who have emotional disturbances and and autism spectrum disorders that have little motivation to take the exam seriously, and have bluntly told me of their intention to blow off the exam just like they have in the past.
Is it fair to hold special education teachers to the same standards in the tiered certification proposal considering their students are a very different population unlikely to produce proficient results?
I encourage everyone to take the time to pen a question of your own concern regarding the candidate’s viewpoints on education topics.
- Tuesday, 7 p.m., Canyon Ridge High School, Twin Falls. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., seating first-come, first-served. Debate will run one hour, with the exchange moderated by Times-News editor Autumn Phillips. Submit questions in advance via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Thursday, 7 p.m., Langroise Center, College of Idaho, Caldwell. Sponsored by the Caldwell Chamber of Commerce. Submit questions in advance to email@example.com.
- Friday, 11:45 a.m., Grove Hotel, Boise. Sponsored by the City Club of Boise, and moderated by Boise State University professor emeritus Jim Weatherby. Attendees will be able to submit questions to the candidates via the moderator. Registration deadline is noon Wednesday. Cost is $18 for members and $25 for nonmembers, which includes lunch. Listeners who do not want lunch may register in advance for $5. Registration is available online.
I hope everyone will take the time see see what the candidates stand for.