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Idaho EdNews: Key Stakeholders Say They Were Left Out of Crafting School Accountability Plan

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CEBIT, CC BY 2.0
When state education officials announced in mid-October they were preparing to unveil a comprehensive school accountability plan, the reason given was, "Idaho needs an accountability system that reflect state values." Key stakeholders, however—including the Idaho School Boards Association, which represents educators in almost every school district in the state—now say they weren't consulted, let alone included, in the creation of the plan.

Idaho EdNews reports the 102-page draft plan didn't include any formal input from the ISBA or the Idaho Education Association. The document lists ISBA incoming President Marg Chipman, of Weiser, as having been involved in its creation, but Chipman told Idaho Ed News she nothing to do with it.

The document is intended to be Idaho's response to the new Every Student Succeeds Act, which seeks to migrate more oversight and accountability from the federal government to the states. The law requires Idaho to submit its final plan to the feds by March 2017.

Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra - STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
  • State Department of Education
  • Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra
"The State Department of Education is committed to transparency," wrote Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra in an op-ed printed in newspapers across the state in last month.

When the draft was unveiled this week, ISBA Executive Director Karen Echeverria said she was "terribly concerned," especially considering the State Board of Education is scheduled to present the plan in two weeks and intends to take a final vote in December.

"You can't say the ISBA was involved in any way," Echeverria told Idaho EdNews.

Meanwhile, the draft will be presented in three public forums: Thursday, Nov. 3 at the King Fine Arts Center Little Theater in Burley; Monday, Nov. 7 at Moscow Middle School in Moscow; and Wednesday, Nov. 9 at the Canyon Springs High School in Caldwell. All meetings take place 6-8 p.m.