Task force getting ideas on education reform from across the state

Task force getting ideas on education reform from across the state

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by Justin Corr

Bio | Email | Follow: @JCorrKTVB

KTVB.COM

Posted on April 25, 2013 at 4:37 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 26 at 2:42 AM

BOISE -- The Governor's Task Force for Improving Education has been criss-crossing the state, holding public forums on one of the most passionately-debated issues in Idaho.

They are in Boise Thursday for the seventh and final forum.

The task force has been meeting since January and already have plenty of ideas on how to improve Idaho's schools.

First, they want schools to be more fiscally stable, with more efficient use of funds and a fairer distribution of that money. They want teachers and administrators to be more effective by focusing on collaboration, recruiting and retaining good people, and using core standards.

They also think structural changes might be in order by first defining exactly how to measure growth and success in schools, then possibly changing the accountability system and using more technology.

That's a lot of ideas and there's been even more input from people at public forums held in Lewiston, Nampa, Twin Falls, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho Falls, and Pocatello.

"The public meetings have been diverse, and in some cases spirited, but that's good," said Richard Westerberg, Task Force Chairman.

Westerberg says forum-goers have been mostly concerned about funding, professional development, and common core standards of education. He says they will take all these ideas and try to create good recommendations for the governor, but they cannot, and will not, be concerned with making all stakeholders in every part of the state happy.

"I don't think the task force's job is necessarily to make people happy, or not make people happy," said Westerberg. "What the task force was asked to do was concentrate on things that we think will enhance our educational performance and educational offering in Idaho."

The task force should be making recommendations to the governor by fall.

Thursday's forum is at 6:30 p.m. at the Idaho Statehouse in the Lincoln Auditorium.

If you can't make it, the forum will be streamed online.

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