This Friday, 12 members of the Idaho Education Association will convene in the first of a series of meetings to discuss the future of Idaho’s most important asset: our children.

Idaho Education Association members voted this spring to organize the Education Excellence Task Force, which is charged with studying and prioritizing critical education issues and developing policy recommendations for the IEA regarding teaching effectiveness and student outcomes. It’s just the latest effort from the IEA to find innovative, locally-driven reform solutions for Idaho’s public schools. The IEA is the main voice for public education in Idaho and at Idaho’s legislature, over the years proposing teacher incentives, advocating for adequate school funding and quality curricula.

Together task force members represent 186 years of experience in the classroom. Members represent a wide range of perspectives, from classroom teachers and specialists to support professionals to university liaisons. Selected for their extensive experience, knowledge and teaching skills, the task force will meet throughout the fall to create IEA’s “vision of teaching excellence” and prepare policy recommendations to guide their discussions with parents, community members and state leaders about quality education reform in Idaho.    “We had a tremendous response to our call for members to volunteer for the task force,” said IEA president Penni Cyr. “IEA members are passionate about their work and they are passionate about teaching kids, so it makes sense they’d be passionate about reforming education.”


In addition to its long history advocating for better schools and working conditions for its members, the IEA has been collecting data and best practices in preparation for the task force’s efforts. “We’ve been in the information-collecting mode for some time,” said Cyr. “I can’t wait to sit down with the task force and get to work.”