Monthly Archives: April 2015

Idaho Ed News Publishes Cavener’s Charter Analysis

Idaho Ed News was kind enough to feature my analysis on charter on Schools earlier in the week.

It sparked a heated debate on the status quo of charter schools here in Idaho, particularly if minority students have an equal shot at being successful in the charter schools.

That debate also resulted Idaho Charter School Network’s Communication Coordinator Amy Russell penning an opposition OpEd to the data I highlighted.

I encourage everyone to peruse both viewpoints.  Also, it’s worthwhile to look at the data to see how minority students fare in your local school district.  The data sent to me from information requests through the State Dept. of Education is embedded below.

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Free/Reduced Lunch Students Largely Absent in Idaho Charters

Part 3 of an ongoing series regarding a series of information requests that indicate minority students are largely left out of charter schools in Idaho.  Previous posts indicated that special education students and ethnic minority students have a vast under-representation in these schools in comparison to the local community demographic of the surrounding local public school district.

This post adds free/reduced lunch and English Language Learner data to the mix.  Unfortunately, again, the data indicates that minority students in these categories are largely left out of charter school student bodies.

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2015 Idaho Education Association Delegate Assembly

20150411_123431After 2 days of vigorous debate, jokes, and stories, the 123rd annual  Idaho Education Association Delegate Assembly came to a close.

Teachers from the entire state descended on Boise for the weekend for the event in what is billed as the largest democratic electing body in Idaho aside from the general election in the state.

Penni Cyr addressed the assembly with a convocation that this is the year of “What teachers make.”  A salary, it seems, is the last thing on a teachers mind when asked what an educator makes. Continue reading

Guest Post: Recent Funding Increase Improves Idaho’s Education

Guest post submitted by Rachael Everly

In 2010 Idaho’s State Board of Education and business leaders set an objective of having at least 60% of Idahoans holding a postsecondary degree by 2020 while currently the percentage stands at 41%. This is definitely an ambitious goal, needing a lot of efforts and improvement to arrive at. With the recession just having affected the state, economists are trying to look for methods that would allow for sustained growth. One of the key elements that play a part in this is state funded education and loan accumulation. Many analysts have pointed at the need for having a sustainable rehabilitation from loans for students, citing it as one of the cripplers for the newer applicants in the job market. One such method is through improving education and worker skills as that would provide the state with labor who knows how to operate within the contemporary and highly technologically advanced economy. In fact the objective mentioned above was set after a 2010 study conducted by Georgetown University concluded that at least 60% of the jobs by 2020 will require the employees to be having post-secondary qualifications. Since such a competitive environment needs well-educated workforce, improving education is one way to fulfill that demand. The following table lists the percentage of jobs that are expected to be available in 2018 according to educational qualifications.

 

Idaho has recently received a budget increase for their public school funding and it is a perfect move in light of the set goals. A 7.4% increase in the public school funding was approved as part of the 2015-16’s state budget. This makes up $1.476 billion and 48% of the state’s general fund budget expenses. There had been a serious cut in the public school funding of Idaho by almost quarter of a billion dollars between 2009 and 2011. The recent rise in budget should provide slight relief to this cut. This budget increase approval did not need any discussion and was done with quickly because efforts are being made to support public schools for which collaboration is needed. The budget committee tried to save funds in other budgeted areas so that more could be spent on public education. In spite of this there were seven votes received against the budget and these voters did

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