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Idaho’s dropping grad rates — and the outliers

Idaho’s graduation rates dropped to a 10-year low in 2012-13 — and state officials say that reflects a new and tougher federal record-keeping requirement. Still unchanged is Idaho’s goal: a 90 percent graduation rate, one of the federal government’s Adequate

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School levies — and property values

Do poorer school districts have a tougher time passing supplemental school levies? Here’s some more evidence. To take one more look at Idaho’s growing reliance on supplemental school property tax levies, I work on one more math problem. I looked at the

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Governor’s race: two divergent views on education

Gov. Butch Otter says Idaho is on a continuing “journey to education excellence.” His Democratic opponent, A.J. Balukoff, called Idaho’s bottom-ranked per-pupil spending “downright shameful.” Gov. Butch Otter That’s the split that was underscored Thursday. In a guest opinion sent to

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Crunching some more numbers from ‘SAT Day’

Earlier this week, I reported on the results from Idaho’s April “SAT Day.” The takeaways: Overall, scores increased slightly on the Scholastic Aptitude Test, but Idaho has a long way to go to meet the SAT “college-ready” benchmark. Let’s drill down

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Idaho’s ‘go-on’ rates: a deeper look at the data

On Thursday, I wrote about the current numbers measuring Idaho’s high school “go-on” rates — and the troubling big-picture trend. Thursday’s sobering takeaway: More than a year after graduating high school, only 52 percent of the Class of 2013 have enrolled in

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Balukoff: State Board record-shredding may have broken law

Gubernatorial candidate A.J. Balukoff ripped Gov. Butch Otter on Monday — for shredding documents. Balukoff, a Democrat, said an Otter aide may have violated state law by destroying paperwork from 22 candidates for the State Board of Education. A.J. Balukoff

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What’s the story behind those destroyed State Board applications?

This week, Gov. Butch Otter’s office released paperwork on some — but not all — of the Idahoans who applied for two vacant spots on the State Board of Education. The rest of the applications no longer exist, according to the governor’s

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Documents shed some light on some State Board applicants

Newly appointed State Board of Education member David Hill of Boise pointed up his resume with federal energy labs — and his involvement in higher education issues in Idaho. Meanwhile, fellow appointee Debbie Critchfield of Oakley touted her work with

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The changing face of Statehouse coverage

Fewer newspaper reporters are covering state government. And more nontraditional news organizations are stepping in to fill some of the void. Those are two important takeaway points from a Pew Research Center study — “America’s Shifting Statehouse Press” — released last week.

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FCC approves plan to boost WiFi spending in schools

In a vote that could have dramatic implications for schools in Idaho and across the nation, the Federal Communications Commission voted Friday to put $1 billion a year into WiFi systems. The plan could provide 259,187 Idaho students with WiFi access, according

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