What do teachers deserve? In Idaho, referendum may offer answer

In the struggle to fix the nation’s public schools, the old red-state, blue-state idea is looking as dated as Dick and Jane, the New York Times reports. You can hear the change in the voice of Gov. C. L. Otter, a Republican here in one of the most deeply conservative corners of the country, when he expresses a brotherhood bond with Rahm Emanuel, the Democratic mayor of Chicago and former Obama administration chief of staff.

“I could empathize with Rahm and what he was going through,” Mr. Otter, better known as “Butch,” said about the recently settled teachers’ strike in Chicago during an interview here in the State Capitol.

“It’s not the teachers,” Mr. Otter said, paraphrasing Mr. Emanuel’s tough-guy script from a news conference at the height of the standoff. “It’s the union bosses.”…Read More

Idaho teachers warned about political activities

Teachers are being warned they could lose their certification if they participate in efforts to recall Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna, repeal his new education reforms or engage in other political activities on school grounds, Businessweek reports. In a memo Friday, Luna said his office had received numerous inquiries and reports of teachers using their school email to coordinate political activities: proselytizing to students in the classroom and using pupils as couriers for political materials…

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Idaho law favors tech over teacher salaries

The measure won lawmakers' approval despite opposition from schools and the teachers union.

The governor signed into law Friday the centerpiece of a major education reform plan that shifts money from salaries to fund new technology and teacher merit pay.

The final piece of the plan authored by schools chief Tom Luna also bumps up the minimum salary of teachers from $29,655 to $30,000 a year. Read “Ed tech vs. larger class sizes: Worth the trade-off?

Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter hailed Republican lawmakers who helped secure passage of the biggest piece of the reform effort.…Read More