State educators seek to help guide K-12
December 6, 2012
Leaders in education assembled Thursday,
November 29, to begin finding solutions for
immediate and long-term issues facing the future
of K-12 education in Idaho.
The ideas generated by this group were given to
Governor Butch Otter's office and offered to
legislative leaders. The group will request a
public hearing with the House Education
Committee, the Senate Education Committee and
possibly the Joint Finance and Appropriations
Committee to share its ideas and offer its
The group’s 22 participants included
superintendents, teachers, parents and leaders
from the Idaho Education Association, the Idaho
Business for Education, the Idaho School Board’s
Association, State Board of Education and the
State Department of Education.
They met at Boise State University in a meeting
facilitated by Idaho Leads Project co-directors
Lisa Kinnaman and Roger Quarles. The five-hour
meeting included activities to build
relationships and develop shared ideas for
solving Idaho’s K-12 education challenges.
The meeting was arranged by Dr. Heather
Williams, superintendent of the Gooding Joint
School District and legislative chair for the
Idaho Association of School Administrators.
Williams emphasized that this is a
practitioner’s group and not a political group.
She invited retiring and long-time legislator
from her district Wendy Jaquet to offer ideas on
how the group could maximize relationships with
“My goal was to get practitioners and caring
stakeholders together to better understand the
issues from various perspectives, and to build
leadership capacity to help us move forward by
building relationships, committing to continuous
improvement, and building on effective
practices,” she said.
The group agreed that it is important to bring
multiple solutions, instead of problems, to the
Legislature and Gov. Butch Otter and to support
the governor as he appoints an education task
Some of the ideas developed by the group were to
focus on recruiting and retaining the very best
teachers in Idaho, build on reform efforts that
are already working, build a statewide
communication matrix, make decisions as close as
possible to students, set clear goals for all
stakeholders, integrate technology and evolve
the instructional model.
Members of the group also said that now is the
time to leverage the intense public interest in
education by publicizing the good things
happening in a variety of topics from technology
integration, use of effective practices and
“Let’s focus on what’s going right while we have
their attention,” said New Plymouth
Superintendent Ryan Kerby.
To find out more, contact Dr. Williams at (208)
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