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Without Fanfare of Ohio or Wisconsin, Idaho Enacts Sweeping Reforms

Posted By Rob Bluey On November 8, 2011 @ 11:46 am In Education,Featured,Scribe | Comments Disabled

Voters head the polls in Ohio [1] today to decide the fate of collective bargaining reforms for government workers. It’s a high-profile referendum on a controversial law that prompted protests similar to the union backlash in Wisconsin [2] earlier this year.

Across the country with much less fanfare, Idaho implemented its own set of landmark reforms [3]. And while the state has lacked the drama playing out in the Midwest, the education changes implemented earlier this year in Idaho are arguably the most sweeping of any adopted in 2011.

The plan, called Students Come First [4], returns control to local communities. Like other states, it makes changes to collective bargaining for teachers, but goes a step further by eliminating tenure and seniority. It also include a pay-for-performance option to reward teachers. Technology is a major factor in the reform with the goal of giving every student a laptop.

The reforms were spearheaded by Tom Luna, Idaho’s superintendent of public instruction. Even though he hasn’t faced the same level of national media scrutiny as his counterparts in Ohio and Wisconsin, Luna has endured his share of personal attacks — vandalism, threats and an attempt to recall him from office [5].

Like the referendum before Ohio voters today, some in Idaho hope to repeal the reforms next year [6] at the ballot box. The Idaho Education Association already lost a court challenge [7] before a district court judge.

During a recent trip to Washington, we spoke to Luna about the reforms [8]. He discussed the positive impact on students, why they’re necessary and how the state is adapting.

The interview runs about 5 minutes. Hosted by Rob Bluey [9] and produced by Brandon Stewart [10]. For more videos from Heritage, subscribe to our YouTube channel [11].

Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org

URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2011/11/08/without-fanfare-of-ohio-or-wisconsin-idaho-enacts-sweeping-reforms/

URLs in this post:

[1] head the polls in Ohio: http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/john-kasich-scott-walker-ohios-uphill-battle-against-government-unions_607748.html

[2] union backlash in Wisconsin: http://blog.heritage.org/2011/02/20/video-myths-vs-facts-of-the-wisconsin-union-protest/

[3] Idaho implemented its own set of landmark reforms: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tom-vander-ark/students-come-first-plan_b_825566.html

[4] Students Come First: http://www.sde.idaho.gov/site/studentscomefirst/

[5] vandalism, threats and an attempt to recall him from office: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/08/tom-luna-idaho-education-reform_n_873339.html

[6] repeal the reforms next year: http://rejectthelunalaws.com/

[7] already lost a court challenge: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/03/students-come-first-laws-_n_992753.html

[8] we spoke to Luna about the reforms: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=az1JhOmBxhE

[9] Rob Bluey: http://www.heritage.org/About/Staff/B/Robert-Bluey

[10] Brandon Stewart: http://www.heritage.org/About/Staff/S/Brandon-Stewart

[11] subscribe to our YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=heritagefoundation

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