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Idaho Education Notecard October 6, 2017

This week’s education news:

Rethinking remediation. Each fall, some 2,500 new students arrive on college campuses, unprepared for college coursework. They are forced to spend time and money on remedial classes — which earn them no college credits. Colleges are trying new strategies to help these at-risk students make the transition to for-credit classes, and keep them engaged in the pursuit of a degree. More information HERE.

Salary strategies. The state’s 2015 “career ladder” law promised teachers $250 million in pay raises over five years. But the law allows local school leaders to decide how to carve up the money. Some districts have adopted the career ladder’s salary schedule — which focuses on boosting pay for beginning teachers — while some districts have stuck with their old plans. More information HERE.

SAT scores, compared. How do Idaho’s SAT scores stack up compared to other states? It’s a complicated question, because Idaho is one of just a handful of states that provides the college-entrance exam during the school day, free of charge. Compared with similar states — where students take the SAT, regardless of their plans for life after high school — Idaho scores are middle-of-the-road. More information HERE.

“I am probably the toughest teacher my students have ever had.” DuWayne Krause sets not-nonsense rules for his math students at Vallivue Academy. If students miss one assignment, they fail, and in order to count, every assignment must be at least 70 percent complete. Despite the rigid standards, nearly 95 percent of his students at the alternative high school have passed over the past two years. More information HERE.

“I’m teaching them to be an upstander, not a bystander.” Michelle Chavez is committed to giving her students life lessons in respect and kindness. For 14 years, the Weiser High School teacher has led a class in Holocaust literature, sharing the class online with several other high schools. Last month she was named the Idaho Human Rights Educator of the Year by the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights. More information HERE.

Kevin Richert is a reporter and blogger with Idaho Education News ( Idaho Education News is an independent news site focused on education policy and politics, funded by the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation. Richert has worked in the Idaho news media since 1985, as a reporter, editor and columnist.

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