This week’s education news:
Kustra announces retirement. Boise State University President Bob Kustra, the longest-tenured president in Idaho’s higher education system, will retire on June 30. Appointed in 2003, Kustra led the state’s largest university through a long period of enrollment growth and capital upgrades. “Boise State has become the metropolitan research university of distinction we envisioned,” Bob Kustra said in a letter to university staff Wednesday.” More information HERE.
Turnover and turmoil. With Kustra’s announcement, the State Board of Education now has a big job: replacing three college and university presidents in a matter of months. “It’s a challenge, of course, but I’m not overly concerned,” State Board President Linda Clark said this week. But while the State Board is in hiring mode, what becomes of Idaho’s far-reaching plans to reform higher education? More information HERE.
An alternative pathway. At Pathways in Education, a new charter alternative high school in Nampa, students learn in a relaxed setting that looks less like a classroom and more like a workspace. “The work isn’t easier, but it’s a lot less stressful,” sophomore Raymond Combe said. Pathways opened its doors in August to 124 students. More information HERE.
Bonneville building options. Eastern Idaho’s Bonneville School District continues to struggle with dizzying enrollment growth — and that means the district will seek another bond issue. The district could go to voters as soon as March. For now, Bonneville is looking at a variety of options that could add up to a price tag of anywhere from $16 million to $65 million. More information HERE.
Idaho plan gets mixed reviews. Two education think tanks weighed in this week on Idaho’s plan to comply with the Every Student Succeeds Act, the new federal education law. The National Council for Teacher Quality likes the way Idaho has defined ineffective or inexperienced teachers, while the Thomas B. Fordham Institute said Idaho fails to give parents a bottom-line assessment of school quality. The U.S. Department of Education gets the last word; the feds are reviewing Idaho’s plan. More information HERE.
Kevin Richert is a reporter and blogger with Idaho Education News (idahoednews.org.) 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.