Slanted Wikipedia revisions dog Idaho schools chief

Luna is not the first public official whose entry has become a source of debate, and Wikipedia’s senior editors have since revised his page to strip slanted material.

The spokeswoman for Idaho state schools superintendent Tom Luna triggered a tug of war over his Wikipedia entry when revising the web page last week to make changes that included touting his polarizing education reforms, a newspaper reported Sept. 7.

Melissa McGrath made numerous edits, including striking a false claim about Luna’s experience. She also removed the word “online” when referencing Luna’s degree, which he did earn online from Thomas Edison State College, the Idaho Statesman reports.

McGrath, public information officer for the state Department of Education, told the newspaper that was an oversight.…Read More

Idaho contemplates computer devices for students

Idaho is considering which devices to purchase as it looks to give every student a mobile learning device.

The classrooms Tom Luna envisioned when campaigning for a 21st-century education system look a lot like those taught in Star, Idaho, a town named after a 19th-century navigational tool used by travelers and miners.

With Idaho moving to new technology in its classrooms under reforms advanced by Luna, the state schools chief, he’s holding up Star Elementary as an example. The school sits about a mile from the site of the original schoolhouse, where a wooden star nailed to the front door was a key landmark in the 1800s.

Luna hopes Star classrooms can now serve as a different kind of guidepost, one for the future, one where students and teachers, as he often says, aren’t “bound by walls, bell schedules, school calendars, or geography.”…Read More

Idaho education firestorm sparks attempt at repeal

More than 72,000 people signed each of three petitions to put the new Idaho laws to referendum votes next year.

Idaho carried out a sweeping overhaul of its public school system this year and stood out nationally amid a rancorous debate over education around the country. But the man who orchestrated the changes quickly learned that his landmark victory came with a price.

At the height of the firestorm over the new laws, vandals went to schools Superintendent Tom Luna’s home, spray-painted his truck and slashed the tires. He filed a police report after he said one angry activist went to his elderly mother’s house. The anger of hundreds of teachers, parents and students filled the halls of Idaho’s Capitol during hearings this spring.

And now, Luna’s critics want to repeal his education laws and kick him out of office.…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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