Community Blog: The EDge

K-12 interim committee gets its chance to ask about task force ideas

interim committee, 9.12.13
Richard Westerberg of the State Board of Education briefs legislators on the recommendations of Gov. Butch Otter’s education reform task force.

This morning, Richard Westerberg of the State Board of Education walked a K-12 legislative interim committee through the recommendations of the task force. Westerberg chaired the task force, attending a round of seven public hearings across the state in April.

This time around, Westerberg fielded a range of questions from lawmakers. Sen. Branden Durst, D-Boise, wondered why the task force was silent on pre-kindergarten. Rep. Wendy Horman, R-Idaho Falls, wanted more details about the mechanics of a teacher career ladder program, which could cost $253 million over six years.

And Sen. Steven Thayn, R-Emmett, wondered about the details of a plan that would promote students based on subject mastery. “We don’t have any way to measure mastery right now.”

Westerberg acknowledged as much — and said, on almost all of the 21 task force recommendations, the state will need to appoint work groups to hammer out the details. “We’ve got a lot of work to do.”

Here’s a link to my live blog from today’s meeting.

Kevin Richert is a reporter and blogger at Idaho Education News (idahoednews.org). Kevin is a former Statesman editorial page editor, with 27 year's experience in Idaho journalism.

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