Author Archives: Levi B Cavener

Hearing Aid Draft Bill Surfaces to Help Students and their Families

Representative Llana Rubel is seeking a cosponsor for a bill that would raise the requirements insurance must cover for devices and services related to a hearing impairment.

Unfortunately for many struggling Idaho families, the cost of hearing aides, cochlear implant, and therapies can run into the thousands of dollars, and insurance currently either does not cover or does not entirely cover the cost associated with these.  This leaves many kiddos attending our schools without the supports they need. Continue reading

2018 Legislature Education Committee Contact List

The Idaho Legislature’s website makes it inconvenient to locate and message individual members of the education committees by requiring you to navigate to each member’s bio for the address.

Fortunately for you, I have compiled the list for you to use during the session.  You’re welcome!

Continue reading

Why Pre-K Won’t Happen in Idaho

The Association of Education for Young Children published a new poll last week that leaves no doubt as to where Idahoans stand, in principle, to providing Pre-K services for Idaho’s children.

A summary: eighty percent of parents who have children five and younger support state supported Pre-K, and sixty-six percent of all surveyed registered voters, regardless of having young children, also support the idea.

In other words, it would seem that even in the conservative Gem State that Pre-K is not a toxic cocktail to discuss at the statehouse. Continue reading

Time for Idaho to Act on its Special Education Problem

 

As a parting gift before the new year, the Idaho Board of Education released a painfully grim picture for teacher recruitment and retention in its ironically named “Teacher Pipeline Report.”

That report details a current a woefully inadequate current mechanism to attract and retain qualified teachers in the Gem State that is anything but a pipeline delivering the necessary flow of new talent.

A few takeaways:  One third of newly certified teachers in Idaho leave to teach in greener pastures outside Idaho; one in ten current Idaho teachers will call this year their last–much higher than the national average; of teachers quitting, three out of four are doing so before retirement age. Continue reading

2017 Reviewed and 2018 Previewed: A Teacher’s Perspective

Superintendent Ybarra

Since I have done this yearly reflection, I find that 2017 was the most mild year I have had reflected upon.  That outcome lead me declare this 365 days the year of Sherri Ybarra.

I know that won’t go over well with some. Let me explain.

Normalcy.  2017 had no major brawls that pitted Idaho’s teachers against the State Department or their elected officials.  Minor squabbles aside, 2017 marked a high water mark in the ability of teachers and districts to work collaboratively with the SDE and the statehouse.   Continue reading

Guest Post: The Potential and Limitations of Technology in Idaho Education

Guest Post by Jeriann Ireland.

The use of technology in the classroom has both the capability of increasing efficiency and accelerating student learning and the potential to become a distraction. As such, technology in education is a pressing issue that teachers, parents, and students feel strongly about. Industry argues that knowledge of how to use technology is important for job-preparedness. Studies demonstrate that too much technology will stunt students’ emotional growth and prevent them from learning how to think. This dichotomy does not necessarily have to be at odds with each itself, but often is when it comes to discussions of funding and curriculum. Continue reading

Idaho Board of Ed:  There are only 374 great teachers in the Gem State

Board of Ed LogoIdaho’s State Board of Education finally guidlines-and-a-review-process for determining Jedi quality master teachers last week.  The report concludes that only 374 teachers in Idaho will qualify for the Master Educator distinction out of an eligible pool of 18,710 educators in Idaho.

This outcome seems to be an outright contradiction to the original intention of establishing a master teacher program which was designed to push many veteran educators closer to the original top salary level proposed during the tiered licensure debate.  In fact, the requirements to receive the Jedi distinction from padawan colleagues is so onerous that the truly excellent teachers will likely spend their already strapped time on their classroom instead of completing yet another pile of paperwork mandated by the state. Continue reading