Maria Nate, Rexburg parent volunteer: Supports Luna plan. Slams union; “Let's be clear about who they represent.” Found whole negotiaton experience to be unsavory. Says union is using fearmongering to rally its troops. Left the room right after testimony. She needs a hug.
Wayne Ross, Meridian, College of Western Idaho teacher: Will laptops for all 9th graders be a mandate, or can parents opt out if a child cannot succeed in online format? Will merit pay measures mean yet more standardized tests?
Steve Smylie, former state lawmaker, Salvation Army board member: Please restore one line-item funding for expectant teen mothers' school. It's still needed and has been highly successful to help young parents finish school, stay out of poverty. It's a win-win for everyone. These students are not going to go away.
Ryan Kirby, Superintendent in New Plymouth: Idaho is in last place for students going to college and staying there. Supports Luna plan with a few modifications. Students need to be familiar with onlne courses, but two (rather than eight) would suffice. Eight-course requirement would also adversely impact electives. Students and teachers prefer face-to-face learning. Likes merit pay proposal, especially for young teachers whoi make $30-32,000 a year.
Kymberly Herridge, Boise parent: My children are thriving in neighborhood schools. Online classes can never replace classroom learning. Teachers know when to push kids and when to take a step back, and how to make kids feel safe and empowered to think about the problems they are inheriting. Told stories about how teachers are making a difference in her children's lives in a way computers simply can't. She said Luna plan means fewer choices, not more.
Meredith St. Clair, Boise school district: It's one thing to connect on a computer, another to connect to true understanding. Questioned plan for laptops and online courses for a student who is 40 percent truant, for example, and depressed and suicidal kids who need caring one-on-one attention. Do we want these “hidden kids” to disappear altogether in larger classes?