This week’s education news:
The ESSA deadline. By Sept. 18, the state must submit its plan for complying with the Every Student Succeeds Act, the far-reaching 2015 federal law that replaces No Child Left Behind. Three months shy of the deadline, large pieces of the plan remain in flux. https://www.idahoednews.org/news/idahos-essa-plan-still-draft-due-feds-three-months/ Meanwhile, leaders of two education groups say they have been “disrespected” by the State Department of Education, which is working on the rewrite without their input. Find more information HERE.
The rising cost of dual credit … Idaho encourages high school students to take college courses — essentially on the state’s nickel — in hopes of boosting its languid college graduation rates. The program is growing beyond expectations, and legislators will have to make a $6.1 million withdrawal from savings to cover this year’s costs. And lawmakers will probably have to make another withdrawal to pay next year’s bills. Find more information HERE.
… and the rising cost of college. When numbers are adjusted for inflation, the annual cost of college in Idaho has increased fivefold since 1980. As a result, graduates of Idaho’s four-year colleges leave campus with a debt averaging more than $26,000, according to a new report from the Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy. “For many Idaho families, college feels like too big a risk to take,” said Boise college adviser Sue Lovelace. Find more information HERE.
Two sets of flat test scores. The State Department of Education dropped a lot of test data Thursday afternoon, and the numbers were virtually unchanged from 2016. On the Idaho Standards Achievement Test — the online test aligned to the Idaho Core Standards — junior and high school students continued to struggle with math. On the SAT, only a third of the state’s high school juniors met the test’s benchmarks for college readiness. Find more information HERE.
A renaissance at ISDB. The Idaho School for the Deaf and the Blind has undergone a decade of transformation and growth. This year, a record 20 students graduated from the Gooding school. ‘I became a happy, smiling and confident person,” said graduating senior Ella Kidd. Find more information HERE.
Kevin Richert is a reporter and blogger with Idaho Education News (idahoednews.org.) Idaho Education News is an independent news site focused on education policy and politics, funded by the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation. Richert has worked in the Idaho news media since 1985, as a reporter, editor and columnist.