Rep. Brian Cronin says obtaining facts via technology is one thing, but what businesses really need is higher-level thinking on how to use information. How will technology provide this, he asked?
“It took 20 years to get the overhead projector out of the bowling alley and into the classroom,” Luna said. “Education has always been a generation or two behind,” He said robust discussions can still happen in an online environment, and that achievement is the same or better with students taking online classes.
Rep. Linden Bateman, a 37-year teacher from Idaho Falls, asked Luna whether his proposals will encourage people to want to teach. Luna says teachers now have little control over what they make, and that people are surprised to learn that salaries are based on seniority and education, so the merit pay plan will be attractive. Moreover, he said, many people want multiple careers and may only teach for part of their lives.
Rep. Tom Trail asked Luna what sort of input he's had from the business community and teacher organizations. Businesses expect education to do more but without more money, Luna said. He also touted his department's work with the Education Alliance of Idaho and says his plans are based on its goals.
Sen. Edgar Malepeai, also a former teacher, said perhaps parental involvement ought to be the Fourth Pillar of the proposed plan. “Education is a team sport,” he added, and it's unwise to make unilateral decisions that don't involve collaboration that satisfies everyone. In other words, teachers need to feel they've had adequate input into their jobs and working conditions,