Category Archives: General

Boise Weekly features Cavener regarding charter demographic data

citizen_levicavenerI don’t know about the caricature, but the interview is pretty darn good.  It’s worth checking out.

A snippet from the Boise Weekly article:

Teaching is a passion. Teaching students with disabilities is doubly so. Levi Cavener, an instructor at Vallivue High School in Caldwell, has been a special education instructor for five years. As an undergraduate at the University of Idaho, he spent time abroad through the Camp Adventure program, exploring Europe with children whose parents were serving in the military. One child lost a parent during Cavener’s time in the program and he described others as “genuinely alone,” not hearing from parents for weeks on end. Those experiences helped ignite his passion for education.

 

 

Idaho State Representative: Crony Capitalism Alive and Well at the Statehouse

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Rep. Judy Boyle

Idaho Congresswoman, Judy Boyle (R), issued a scathing criticism in a “voices” piece on Idaho Ed News against the Idaho Department of Administration and Governor Otter himself over the ongoing legal battle regarding the broadband contract for Idaho’s schools, Idaho Education Network (IEN).

Recently, the contract was voided in the courtroom leaving the fate of the internet resource for schools in jeopardy. It may also potentially put taxpayers on the hook for not only attorney bills, but retroactive payment to the aggrieved parties.

Said Rep. Boyle,

Why did this occur? It is an example of crony capitalism, corruption, special favors for campaign donors, the governor’s staff moving to lobby and/or work for the very businesses receiving the contracts or from those companies to the governor’s staff. It is back-slapping, good old boy networks, winks and nods, cover ups, denying involvement, blaming others, attacking those asking questions or with the courage to say the Emperor has NO clothes.

Be sure to read Rep. Boyle’s piece, in entirety, at Idaho Ed News.

 

 

Ybarra and Jones Spar 3 Times this Week

JonesYbarraThis 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.

IdahoEdNews reported on the dates and times the duo can be seen debating:

  • 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 aphillips@magicvalley.com.
  • Thursday, 7 p.m., Langroise Center, College of Idaho, Caldwell. Sponsored by the Caldwell Chamber of Commerce. Submit questions in advance to thardin@caldwellchamber.org.
  • 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.

The High Stakes of Overtesting.

By Levi B Cavener

Levi B CavenerThe semester is drawing to a close for many secondary schools, including my own, across the state during the next few weeks. With this closing comes the ritualistic ceremony of the dreaded end of course exam.

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The Not So Black and White Timecard

By Levi B Cavener

Levi B CavenerFor many districts in Idaho, students will return to their classrooms tomorrow. Yet, today reminded me that many teachers have never left.

Like many teachers, I was in and out of my school during break to prepare for the spring term and end of semester exams that will hit me full-force starting tomorrow. When I signed in at my school’s out-of-hour log today, I took the time to look over who had been in and out during the break.

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The New Mute Button

Is The Idaho Professional Standards Commission Up to the Challenge?

By Levi B Cavener

Levi B CavenerIdaho educational news made national headlines this year; as usual, it wasn’t because Idaho was touting how it’s educational policies have led it to be a top state in the nation in educating our students. Nope, instead Idaho was blasted over a case involving an ethics probe of an Idaho education teacher. Continue reading

We’re new! Why are we here?

Idaho’s Promise is an organization that focuses on ensuring every student in Idaho is provided with a world class education, regardless of the zip code the student lives in.

Idaho’s Promise advocates for laws and policies that provide a first rate equitable learning experience for every student in Idaho’s classrooms.  Current education policy has resulted in an unbalanced system in Idaho where students are not necessarily provided a uniform system of education as the Idaho Constitution requires.

Current issues of concern are an unbalanced system of taxation to fund districts, corporate ties to public charter schools, untrained professionals working with students as “highly qualified” instructors including Teach for America (TFA) employees, and corporate interference in public education policy through the guise of “philanthropy.”

This site is a platform to help encourage productive discussion, debate, and positive outcomes of education policy in Idaho.