Students must master their subjects, task force says

If Idaho schools are going to get better they’ll have to demand mastery in subjects for students to advance, Gov. Butch Otter’s education task force says.

But education in Idaho — especially its funding — is based on how many hours a student sits in a classroom seat, not what they learn while they are there.

The task force unanimously supported moving to a system that rewards mastery of subjects, which will turnout better educated students requiring less remediation when they get to college.

“If we set expectations high, they will live up to them,” said Rep. Reed DeMordaunt, R-Eagle, chair of a task force subcommittee that drafted the proposal.

“The whole concept of the class goes away,” he said. A student may be ahead of classmates in reading, but behind many of them in math.

Mastery, however, faces challenges. What would a school do if 50 students don’t get through algebra 1 in the year they took it, and another batch of students is moving up to take those classes? How would a school deploy resources?

The task force says it hasn’t work out that scenario yet.

Posted in In The Classroom