Luna Paints Rosy Picture; Werk Says We're Rolling Downhill ... Backwards

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"I'm proud of the great progress we have made in raising student achievement over the past three years," said Idaho School Superintendent Tom Luna on Monday.

Trouble is, fewer Idaho schools are meeting the No Child Left Behind mandates. Sixty-two percent of state schools reached the required standards this year for Adequate Yearly Progress on reading and math. That's down from a year ago when 66 percent made the AYP.

Luna blames fuzzy math. Last year, 78 percent of a school's students must have met or exceeded the grade standard in reading. This year, the benchmark was raised to 85 percent.

"The Department of Education has no strategic plan," Boise Democratic Sen. Elliot Werk told Citydesk. "If I were to go up to Tom Luna and ask 'What do you want to accomplish in five, 10 or 29 years?' I don't know what he'd say."

"Currently, we have more and more school districts going to four-day school weeks and we have legislators touting that as part of the solution, as if that's a good thing when we need to compete on the global economy," said Werk. "We're not just falling backwards, we're rolling downhill backwards."