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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Lunacy in Luna's education proposals

Posted Wednesday, February 9, 2011, at 8:45 AM

The more we see the details -- or lack thereof -- in State Superintendent of Education Tom Luna's plan for state education, the more it looks like lunacy.

This plan must be rejected by the legislature.

Unfortunately, there is a certain inertia involved in any budget proposal and this is the only one sitting on the table. It involves a major restructuring of how our children will be taught. Ostensibly created to solve the state's financial crisis, we believe that it would create a crisis in education that would take years to repair. The state's financial situation is temporary. This proposal would fundamentally and permanently change education in Idaho.

It is not teacher friendly, by any means. No matter how often Luna mouths the phrase that teachers are our state's most important resource, it not only won't help them, it will probably drive the best ones away. From setting standards that would sharply limit teacher rights to the more important factor of overloading their classrooms to the point they can no longer effectively teach, this is a disaster in the making.

And if major colleges (and maybe even the military) won't accept online class credits, then a high school diploma with nearly a quarter of its credits based on online classes, isn't worth the paper it's printed on. How does that play out as in improvement in education?

There is no longer any doubt left in our mind that Luna does not have the best interests of public education as his foremost concern. His online learning proposals are functionally home schooling with the local districts providing baby-sitting services. Look at the software he's proposing to use (involving several companies that contributed to his re-election campaign) if you don't believe that.

The state will pay for the computers, but the district still can't get a clear answer concerning who will pay for the expanded broadband connection and wiring needs of the district -- or the hugely expensive software costs. And if a machine crashes, is broken or lost, how quickly can it be repaired or replaced -- and by whom? Anybody who's had to deal with those issues knows that it's pretty rare to get 24-hour tech support turnaround, which is the minimum a student would need.

Some district officials also wonder how many students would sell their laptops and then report them stolen or lost. "They're actually worth something," school board chairman Jim Alexander said, noting, "You don't see too many kids trying to sell their 10th-grade algebra textbook."

The kids love the idea of being given a laptop. Who wouldn't? But in casual conversations with more than a dozen students, using the laptop for education wasn't the first thing they mentioned. Some, for example, were looking forward to being able to update their Facebook pages without having to ask permission from their parents to use the family computer.

All schools could use more computers -- but as adjunct tools for teachers in classrooms, not as a replacement for those teachers. If you think a silicon chip can replace Mr. Chips, you're sadly mistaken.

Luna should have brought this up before his re-election. Then the matter could have had adequate time for debate. But then, he might not have gotten re-elected if he had. As it is, now we have about 60 days to debate the issue in the legislature, and that really isn't enough time. Sixty days to decide on a complete and permanent restructuring of education is nuts.

If this goes through, Luna should be recalled and every legislator who votes for it should be defeated at the polls in the next election.

Luna also has another proposal on the table to sharply reduce the criteria needed to be the superintendent of a school district. Schools are probably the most complex of all the local governments. Running a school district is a very difficult task that usually requires considerable training just to deal with the massive and complex state and federal laws under which they operate, let alone understanding the technical details of how the education system works. Luna wants to eliminate the special certifications required and just require a bachelor's degree -- in any subject -- to be enough to run a school district. He's not cutting back on the need to certify principals and other administrators, just superintendents, who could wind up having less training and experience than the people they are supervising.

Before he was elected, Luna often railed against public education. If his proposals before the legislature this year aren't clear proof of an intent to destroy public education, we don't know what it would be. If this passes, start making plans to home-school your kids. And if that doesn't scare you it should -- how good are you at being able to teach advanced algebra? But then, that's probably what Luna wants.

The legislature has two options as we see it. Pass Luna's proposals and let our children suffer the consequences for years to come, or reject it and adopt, at a minimum, the same budgets approved last year. The FY 2010 funding was hardly a great budget for education, but it's still a lot better than what's been proposed this year.

If anyone in the legislature thinks Luna's plan has merit, then provide additional funding for some pilot programs, to be distributed to different-sized school districts around the state, to find out where the landmines are. Right now, we don't know whether this would work or not, although it doesn't seem likely. But we'd rather send a platoon into the minefield to find out how bad it is, rather than blindly throwing the entire army at it.

This plan is an attack on public education, would be disadvantageous to students and simply has not been adequately thought out. The legislature must, under no uncertain terms, reject Luna's plans.


Comments
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The whine cellar is pretty full today in Mountain Home, that's for sure.

When did any bill passed have to be "employee friendly"? Are financial services laws "employee friendly?" Do they result in bank or insurance company salespeople getting raises or tenure? Nope, and neither should an education bill.

This bill represents the first good chance this State has had to hold teachers, students and parents (Not necessarily in that order) accountable for obtaining an education.

Meridian teachers by and large CANNOT even pass an 8th grade equivalency test for the classes they teach. Yea, give em tenure and a raise for that gem!

Maybe if they can perform under the magnifying glass that will be the new compensation plan, review plan and lack of tenure plan things will change for the better for teachers. Likely, it won;t happen because they can't stand scrutiny. They can't stand to be held accountable. As a group they are so mediocre and average that the confidence level is only what the Union has pounded into the mud....near zero.

Try living in the constant bubble of a performance based compensation plan in other areas of life if you can imagine such a thing. Every small business owner in the United States operates that way. Do they complain? Only when government intrusion blocks freedom. Try selling on commission like millions do. They are reviewed publicly every day and judged (paid anything at all) only if they make a sale.

Teachers, get a grip, man up and take the challenge to become excellent as a group. My condolences to the excellent teachers out there who have had this mediocrity from the Union forced upon them. You have deserved better for a very long time.

-- Posted by westwindsraider on Wed, Feb 9, 2011, at 2:22 PM

Which colleges will not accept online class credits? We have family friends with two students attending BSU and UofI. Both had online class credits and both have more than half of their education being paid for with academic scholarships.

-- Posted by CuriousParents on Wed, Feb 9, 2011, at 3:14 PM

westwindraider,

I'd be perfectly willing to teach, based on commission, as long as I had the ability to deselect those students who would negatively affect my production.

The unions don't force mediocrity as a standard upon teachers...parents unwilling to accept the fact that their offspring are less than perfect, do.

Teachers are not allowed to choose their students; everybody gets the same finish line...think about that when you compare the "special olympics" to the "olympics," and you'll have a glimpse of what regular teachers do every day.

As a proverbial "excellent teacher," who needs your condolences? How about paying the price for the service you demand?

-- Posted by junkyard dog on Wed, Feb 9, 2011, at 6:01 PM

IDAHO has too many school districts, with too many "chiefs" with high paid personnel to oversee the teachers.

Our Teachers deal with large classroom's often full of unruly, disrepectful, undisaplined students. K - 12 children are not attending school with motivation from home, to want to do their best.

Parents expect schools to teach their children, without personally accepting "any" responsibility.

As an example:

Children should be raised to respect teachers and to appreciate the opportunity to Learn.

Mr Tom Luna Please start asking OUR hired "professionals, the Teacher" who is currently DOING THE JOB, "What do we need to improve this situation? "Not Mandate"

Make K-12 is an opportunity, NOT a right.

Give a man a fish, he eats for a day,

TEACH a child fishing, hunting, skills, reading, writing, and math, . . . . You know the ending.

If we can put a man on the moon and make computers smaller then my hand, then we should overhaul the current educational program, WITH the guidence of the teachers.

-- Posted by cldodd1023 on Wed, Feb 9, 2011, at 7:38 PM

My oh my. The greasy little "reporter" has an opinion about something of substance? He didn't want to hold AEHI to task. He doesn't want to hold the WECRD to task. There are endless stories about bake sales and walk-a-thons and now he wants to look up a couple figures and start having an opinion? Of course his "sky is falling" premise is a joke justlike the rest of his reporting. There has been years to fix education and all we do is poor money into it. It doesn't work. There has been a department ofeducation since 79 and education is worse. The teacher unions and school boards have bullied the public for years and its going to stop now. This new fangled internet teaching thing will probably never take hold, except it already has. Like the greasy hippie said there aren't any other plans on the table so whose really intersted in fixing education? Certainly not a bias and cowardly reporter that tries to steer every issue to his liking or his wallet.

-- Posted by CountryDweller on Thu, Feb 10, 2011, at 8:25 AM

So online classes aren't the future??? If that is the case why am I taking a full college course load online from Qatar??? And it is being paid for by the GI Bill. Seems like they are right, it isn't the future, it is already here. I care what the parents say, I care what the teachers say, but they should care more what the TAXPAYERS say. I will never put a child through the school district, but I will always pay taxes for it.

The old way isn't working, that is an accepted fact from all sides of the issue. I have always lived by the philosphy that if you don't have a solution to fix the problem you have no right to complain. We can complain all day long about Luna's proposal but he is the first to suggest a viable change to the status quo.

Good luck with your meetings.

-- Posted by Conservative on Thu, Feb 10, 2011, at 8:50 AM

Thank you for your service to our country Conservative.

-- Posted by skeeter on Fri, Feb 11, 2011, at 6:26 PM

Fuzzy logic, Conservative....I would venture that you're taking courses online because there is no one teaching that course where you are staying.

Online serves that purpose; an alternative method of education when the goods aren't available where you live. But really, compared to the real thing, isn't on line study about the joy of eating bacon the equivalent of watching someone else chowing down on a BLT? If given a choice, wouldn't you rather taste it for yourself?

-- Posted by junkyard dog on Fri, Feb 11, 2011, at 8:07 PM

Fuzzy logic? Learning and taste? The point is to impart knowledge. That can be done online as well as in person. It is, and has, been being done for years. The argument being made against online education shows the obvious lack of effectiveness in traditional education. It's not the medium but the substance that is lacking.

-- Posted by AtomicDog on Sat, Feb 12, 2011, at 4:43 PM

Bazook...Atomic Dog..., the next time you plan to have sex or something to eat, and you realize that there's nothing there, go online. Oh yeah, now we're learnin'.

-- Posted by junkyard dog on Sun, Feb 13, 2011, at 5:41 PM

Once again "Ted" bazookaman you are completely out of touch with reality, like most of you here blogging. You wouldn't quality education if it bit you in the rear....

Stop it already about the teachers, and the union and everything else...it has nothing to do with the union...and besides, without unions, there probably wouldn't be a middle class in this country you morons....

It's about POLICTICS and that out of touch crazy Luna and Otter who see everything in dollars and cents....

You morons couldn't come up with a creative thought if it bit you in the rear...

I fully support our teachers, and administrators and board of trustees, because they have to deal with complete morons like you, every single day...their is no salary in the world that would make me deal with you morons!

And to westwindsraider...STOP putting the blame on teachers and start having parents and students take responsibility for their actions...you are now a full member of the moron squad!!! Congrads!

-- Posted by DUMBFOUNDED IN IDAHO on Mon, Feb 14, 2011, at 2:01 AM

Ted...what are you talking about...were you beaten as a child? It's the only way I can see that is tangible about what you write in your lengthly blogs....

I'm a college grad and I know how to count change, and what does Jay Leno have "anything" to do with education??? So what would be your idea of a quality education...let me see..hum how about....guns and killing things 101...better yet how about "trailor economics, or the history of rednecks"...does that fit your view of a proper education???

Ted, what dealings to you have with anyone, let alone the youth of this community...I'm around kids all the time and I can tell you that they are very bright and articulate..unlike yourself who is dark and deeply disturbed.

BTW...the word and meaning of "moron" fits you like a glove...so why should I changed it now...if the word fits...wear it!

-- Posted by DUMBFOUNDED IN IDAHO on Tue, Feb 15, 2011, at 3:49 AM

You may be a college grad, but you act/sound like a child.

-- Posted by CuriousParents on Tue, Feb 15, 2011, at 7:53 AM

Too bad that college degrees don't come with CLASS.

-- Posted by jtrotter on Tue, Feb 15, 2011, at 10:32 AM

After reading all of your replies to Kelly's editorial I am shocked at how rude and innapropriate your responsers were. If you disagree with Kelly then you may say so and explain why you disagree with your well thought out opinions. However, you choose to call people names and personalize an issue that will hurt our future more so than you realize. Our kids are our future and we must invest in them with a proper education. Mr. Luna has NOT consulted with any professional educators on his initiatives. He has an interesting idea but there has been other interesting ideas on how to improve education but they are not up for a vote. Please realize EVERY job is possible because of a teacher. We need to remember that teachers are not bad people but they are the ones that make our world function. And our town's editor helps us do business, keep informed, and communicate. Please be respectful and grateful.

-- Posted by findaway on Tue, Feb 15, 2011, at 7:38 PM

The University of Maryland actually has professors over here, but the online courses fit my schedule.

Every job in this world is important. Teachers are no important than any other service occupation to me. They have a greater sphere of influence and hence are politically untouchable.

My point in this discussion is that everyone wants to complain now, but never came up with viable solutions, before Luna's proposal. Last year we funded a stop-gap bond, for temporary purposes. The union didn't propose any solutions to the long term issue. And raising taxes is not an option to me. Come up with a reasonable alternative and I will not complain.

But I can guarantee, I will not vote for another bond, EVER.

-- Posted by Conservative on Wed, Feb 16, 2011, at 12:57 AM

Well, well, well...I see the moron squad has come out in full...congrads boys, I'm flattered.

First of all, not one of you know anything about the great state of NY or my hometown of NYC...best city in the world...but how would anyone of you morons would know, you all live under a rock!

For your information, I left NY to go to college, then when I "graduated" from college, I volunteered my time to the peace corps, teaching children in Chile...

I didn't choice Idaho, it was choosen for me, when I was hired by Americorp...teaching immirgrant child English...so you see, I know the value of a first rate education...I gave back to society, unlike you inbred trailor park trash.

Sorry for the name calling, but when your as passionate about education and helping the sick and poor and homeless, you get frustrated with the likes of you, who couldn't care less about the suffering of others.

Idaho is a beautiful state, no doubt, but some of it's people are ugly...but I guess that's the way it is wherever you go, but not to the extent that it is here.

I'm am very proud to be from the empire state, as well as being extremely proud of parents who pushed me as a child to explore the world and to never undervalue the quality of education...and to pray for those who teach hate, indifferance, negativity, and prejuices....so, in the memory of my father...I'll be praying for you in the moron squad, but I don't think it would do any good!

GO NY!!!!!!!!

-- Posted by DUMBFOUNDED IN IDAHO on Wed, Feb 16, 2011, at 3:05 AM

NY ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!

-- Posted by DUMBFOUNDED IN IDAHO on Wed, Feb 16, 2011, at 3:05 AM

Dumbfounded,

Your "passion" is not justification for your actions. It is "passion" like yours that unleashed its destructive powers on Secretary Luna, his family and his property. It is "passion" like yours that drives the jihad against the United States. Your "passion" is no excuse to bring hate onto the population of an entire state that you CHOSE to live in. There are very good people in this state that choose to disagree with you, therefore they bear the brunt of your "passion". This is not what teaching is about.

-- Posted by jtrotter on Wed, Feb 16, 2011, at 8:33 AM

You know I kind of find it funny that you bring up, how you ended up in Idaho. Peace Corp, and so on. You imply that those of us that are here are beneath you in some sort of caste system. This isn't India.

Most of us that ended up in Idaho, are here because of the military. Most decided to stay here because we love it. I love the place, the people, the enviroment, and the freedom to do what I enjoy. I am originally from Pennsylvania, but Idaho is my home.

Now the internet is this wonderful thing that allows open communication, but sometimes a line gets crossed. My feelings are that if you wouldn't say it to someones face, why would you say it online?

I will be home on R&R in October, stop on by my house at 2384 NW Frontage Rd, you know the house with all the Redneck Monster trucks, by the highway department, just ask for Lehi, and call me an in-bred Moron.

Don't huff and puff behind a computer, if you want to be retard, stay off-line.

-- Posted by Conservative on Wed, Feb 16, 2011, at 11:38 AM

I think someone is running a game on some others.

-- Posted by arsenal on Wed, Feb 16, 2011, at 5:48 PM

Solutions?

I have received email from my youngest childs teacher, and my oldest has been asked to sign petitions against Mr. Luna's Plan.

Where are the Teachers plans? Guess what folks, you think that the 11-12 budget is going to be bad, just wait for the 12-13 Budget.

Dumbfounded, you are a grand example of what is wrong with America, and why Idaho is not what it once was. I am an 1982 MHHS Grad, this is my home, and will always be.

Conservative, thanks for your service!

Let's take this country back from those that have hijacked it........God bless America!

-- Posted by mrjimbo on Wed, Feb 16, 2011, at 5:50 PM

Oh no, I've awaken the entire 'moron squad'...oh boy..now lets review and take note of a few things...

1. Ted, do you actually read what your write...it's mindless and rambling, kinda like what your buddy the uni-bomber wrote in his 'manifesto'...I might be childish, but it's only response I know when dealing with you and your racist little friends....none of you make a lick of sense.

2. Passion has nothing to do with fanaticism...you have them mixed up, christ read a dictionary from time to time.

3. To Lehi, nothing like a 'bully' to ruin a good blog...let me tell you, I would have no problem saying anything to anyone in their face, especially yours...but I don't condome violence, unlike yourself, who doesn't know any better...I bet you were the class bully in your school...weren't you!

4. NY ROCKS!!

-- Posted by DUMBFOUNDED IN IDAHO on Thu, Feb 17, 2011, at 12:07 AM

If you refuse to use proper grammar and spelling on a daily basis, at least show some respect and capitalize the name Christ.

-- Posted by CuriousParents on Thu, Feb 17, 2011, at 7:11 AM

Dumb,

I was never the bully, actually quite the opposite, but I have principles and morals, that I believe I should stand up for. Your name calling and answering a question with a question, is a normal distraction technique. You have posted a few times without actually answering most of the questions asked.

You are full of excretement when you say, "you would say anthing to anyones face."

Me and Bazookaman have actually disagreed in person, and I had no problem respectfully telling him to his face, nor did he. The key word here is RESPECT. (Over the sand-wash by Simco)

People in a civilized society show each other respect even if they will never agree on a subject. But I will wager, you are not secure enough to post your name for all to read and know the kind of disrepect you feel the need to spew all over the internet.

Lehi Samuel Hartwell

-- Posted by Conservative on Thu, Feb 17, 2011, at 12:44 PM

Solutions?

Dumb....you rant, but never offer a solution. At this point, we are out of money, at the Federal, State and Local level. What do you not get out of the sentence...."We are out of money"?

You write of your education, but you read like you finished the sixth grade. I find it ironic that you love NY so much, the state is right behind California in their level of debt.

NO MORE BORROWING. NO MORE TAX LEVIES. What do we do next year when things are even worse?

I do feel sorry for the great teachers that we have, as it seems they will bare the brunt of the cuts, as well as our children......make sure you run out to Walmart and spend some money to support China, as that is who our kids and grandkids are going to be working for unless WE stop this spending NOW.....not going to be fun, and it won't be easy......

-- Posted by mrjimbo on Thu, Feb 17, 2011, at 6:45 PM

DUMB.....were do you get off with the name calling? I AM A MINORITY FROM N.Y. BKLYN...........I WAS TAUGHT TO RESPECT PEOPLE.IF YOUR PASSION WAS WHAT YOU CLAIM YOU WOULD USE EVERY OPPERTUNITY TO LEARN.You want respect for your thoughts but you are busy calling people names.I WOULDNT LISTEN TO A WORD YOU SAY AS LONG AS THAT IS THE WAY YOU TREAT ME.I personally find it offensive to say the least.I HAVE BEEN HERE ALMOST 40 YRS and if you open your mind you will find that people are people.N.Y, IS NOT A COUNTRY OF ITS OWN. SOME OF US FROM THERE THINK IT IS BUT ITS NOT , it is a state within the united states of america and it doesnt set you apart to be able to call people the names you call them.I DONT CARE WERE YOU ARE FROM PEOPLE ARE PEOPLE WITH ALL THERE FAULTS AND ALL THERE GOOD POINTS.

The last name caller on here wasnt welcome and I dont think you should be treated any different.STOP the name calling......you are not the onlY one with degrees and experience. I WOULD PUT MINE UP AGAINST YOURS ANYTIME TO INCLUDE 28 YRS SERVICE. YOU WANT REPECT GIVE IT.......AND IF YOU DONT LIKE IT HERE ......WHY ARE YOU HERE???????you have the credentials you can leave it will be ok with US......LET ME KNOW IF I CAN HELP YOU WITH THAT TRANSITION

-- Posted by lamont on Thu, Feb 17, 2011, at 10:14 PM

Hello, can we all 'wake up' and smell the coffee...have any of you seen the vile crap that bazookaman has written in his blogs...

Do you really read my responses to what these bloggers post???

lamont, I'm here because this is a free country, and I have the right to be anywhere I so choice...

What's offensive is the twisted, blogs of some on this site who are clearly not with reality...so how can "anyone" take them seriously...Congrads for being here 40 years...yee haw, your a glutten for punishment.

I give respect, but I don't give it to the likes of people who blog hate, and division..what do any of you know the word of RESPECT....then repect the rights of others who are liberal, who are from another polictical party, who do not share your policitical agenda, who are not from the same skin tone, who are not from Idaho, who don't own guns...that's called RESPECT, you may not like what I have to say, but I can say it, without the fear or intimitation of the likes of all of you.

You talk about name calling..that's all the moron squad has been doing since I've been blogging, calling me un-American, communist, liberal, socialist, racist...listen to yourselves for once, but you can't see what I and others see about you...I feel pity for you all...you are all lost sheep being lead by a party who cares nothing about the little man...

cant justwatch...too bad your parents were brother and sister...maybe that's why you are the way you are...

Power to the People!!!!

-- Posted by DUMBFOUNDED IN IDAHO on Thu, Feb 17, 2011, at 10:58 PM

I am a moderator on another online forum, and I wish I could just ban people here, just like there. I would then lock this thread. It has become pointless.

-- Posted by Conservative on Fri, Feb 18, 2011, at 6:41 AM

DUMB...........I dont think you want to take me on...........i said nothing disrepectfull to you.......yee haw......get this DUMB..... PEOPLE ARE ENTITLED TO THINK WHAT THEY WANT thats not the issue.....it is how you voice your opinion...has someone called you are racist name????? what makes you think that calling people trailer trash is not the same????? or that a persons parents are brother and sister......different culture your screaming about but you denergrate why????????????? I disagree with ZOOK 50% OF THE TIME OR MORE BUT WE DONT GET INTO THE NAME CALLING BUSINESS.........people only learn about people when they have a conversation.....some things said here are not factual and even if they were ,you are entitled to your way of seeing them.

Now you are here because you can be, my 28 years of service helped to make that happen. ZOOKS 22 years service helped make that happen. I spent a lot of time teaching human relations we made progress and people who react like you damage that progress......but i know you dont care,otherwise you would not assume that everyone will think as you do.........I could defend some things zook said but you would not hear because you are not listening..........you are out of your comfort zone,and you are not trying to be a viable part of the communityso i will say it again...............YOU HAVE THE CREDENTIALS LEAVE...............I WILL HELP YOU WITH THAT TRANSITION..........and PARTS OF THE FAMILY STILL LIVES IN N.Y.C.......AND THEY HAVE BEEN HERE AND LIKED IT.......OPEN YOUR MIND

-- Posted by lamont on Fri, Feb 18, 2011, at 10:30 AM

I forgot something POWER TO THE PEOPLE??????????? MY BROTHER WAS A PANTHER WHILE I WAS IN NAMM......HE REFUSED THE DRAFT I STOOD UP FOR HIM HIS CHOICE......THATS WHY I WORE A UNIFORM........SO WHEN YOU SCREAM POWER TO THE PEOPLE TELL ME WHAT YOU HAVE DONE????????? while that was happening.......... MY MOTHER WAS A CITY COUNCIL MEMBER......... TELL ME YOUR SACRIFICE .....OTHER THAN PEOPLE DONT SEE YOUR WAY.....THINK ABOUT THOSE THINGS AND BE CAREFULL WHO YOU DECIDE IS YOU ENEMY........THE last person that attacked one of my parents on this blog..........didnt like the outcome............ITS THE NAME CALLING,GET IT, NAME CALLING,PERSONAL NAME CALLING....SLOWLY PERSONAL NAME CALLING

-- Posted by lamont on Fri, Feb 18, 2011, at 10:46 AM

DUMB.......go to ........get involved in education

thankyou

-- Posted by lamont on Sun, Feb 20, 2011, at 7:39 PM


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