The combined House and Senate Education Committees held a meeting today to review the education reforms pushed last year by State Superintendent Tom Luna.
Luna mainly rehashed his “educating more students at a higher level with limited resources” pitch that he has recited time and time again over the past 12 months. He claimed that “teacher union leaders” in local districts “do not feel hamstrung or restricted” by the new laws, but we’re confident that he’s not talking with most IEA local leaders when he says that. Read some of his comments.
After speaking for nearly an hour, Luna turned the podium over to his Technology Task Force subcommittee chairs to review their recommendations, available in full here. One of the chairs, 2011 Idaho Teacher of the Year Stefani Cook, one of only four current classroom teachers on the 38-person Technology Task Force, joked that the text-heavy Power Point format wasn’t doing a very good job of showing how engaging technology can be.
“I hope that as a teacher, I am the voice of reality here,” Cook said, adding that lessons and activities “don’t appear by magic. They take time to develop.”
Cook noted that her Classroom Technology Subcommittee recommended that the state offer “up to 72 hours” rather than “up to 22 hours” of professional development. She also spoke hopefully that teachers all over the state will be able to use technology to share ideas, but that takes time, too.
She added that the subcommittee requested funding for additional information technology professionals to meet the demands of mandated one-on-one mobile computing devices. Luna last week belatedly asked the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee for $2.5 million for IT professionals, even though the task force recommended it in December.
Read more about the joint meeting on our Twitter feed.
- The House Education Committee heard a request from Rep. Linden Bateman (R-Idaho Falls) that the state pass a memorial urging Congress to repeal No Child Left Behind.
- A veteran state political operative confirmed that he will help run the campaign against the education law referendums.