Idaho’s Education Policy & Goals Are Misaligned – Idaho EdNews

by | May 3, 2022 | Education

Right now, the headline stories about education concern critical race theory, school choice, LGBT ideology, and especially in Idaho: parental rights. Each of those are important debates that have an important place in the public discourse. But the spotlight that’s been placed on these emotionally charged subjects has caused them to completely overshadow a fundamental problem: there is a severe disconnect between Idaho’s education policy and the state’s goals.
Idaho’s goal since 2010 has been to reach 60% of the adult population, ages 25-34, to have completed some kind of secondary education. To make progress towards that goal, the state has tried to increase the ‘go-on’ rate, or the percentage of graduating seniors who go on to attend an in-state college the next fall. That effort has come in the form of four areas: student achievement tests, college scholarships, college and career advisors, and Advanced Opportunities. Each area is designed to make secondary education more accessible to students, especially by reducing the financial barrier to college.
Of course, this is expensive, costing well over 100 million dollars over the last several years. And out of those four areas, Advanced Opportunities saw the most growth. The cost from the 2016-2017 school year was expected to be $5.5 million but amounted to $11.7 million. By 2018-2019 the cost was $19.25 million for the year. This money allows students like me to take college courses while still in high school and pursue other secondary education opportunities.
Logically, this plan makes sense. To increase number of adults who have completed secondary education, especially colle …

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