Dozens of parents, educators and lawmakers are gathering in Boise today, kicking off a seven-month process that will craft technology reforms for Idaho's public schools. Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna named 38 Idahoans to the task force, including two members of the Idaho Senate, two from the House, four district school superintendents, principals, school board trustees and parents. Luna also included some opponents of his plan, including Rep. Wendy Jacquet of Ketchum and Idaho Education Association President Sherri Wood.
An opposition group, calling itself the Common Sense Democracy Foundation, created its own technology task force because they said Luna's effort isn't fair.
"Not surprisingly, Mr. Luna sits on the State Board of Education and will, as chair of the Technology Task Force, be effectively reporting to himself," said Travis Manning, chair of the Education Reform Task Force.
Today's kickoff is the first of seven, two-day sessions that will be held across the state, ending in mid-December. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and former West Virginia Gov. Mike Wise will address the task force this week. Luna confirmed that he had met Bush at a national education summit in the fall of 2010 while Luna was beginning to write his controversial Students Come First plan, which following much debate, passed through the Idaho Legislature earlier this year.