NOTEBOOK: Advanced Placement grows -- but sporadically

Posted at 12:16 PM, Jul 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-14 14:16:41-04

This week’s education news:

Advanced Placement in Idaho.  By all metrics, more and more Idaho high school students are taking — and passing — rigorous Advanced Placement courses. But like other rural states, Idaho’s AP enrollment still lags well behind the national average. Idaho pays high school students to take AP tests that could earn them college credits, as part of a larger campaign to encourage high school graduates to stay in school.

School accountability. Idaho’s smallest schools — including 16 percent of the state’s high schools — could be exempt from a new state school accountability system. Under a new federal education law, states are supposed to identify their lowest performing schools. Idaho’s proposal would exempt high schools with fewer than 25 graduates, and schools with fewer than 25 students in a grade level.

Bonneville bond issue on hold. In an about-face Wednesday night, Bonneville School District trustees ditched their plan for a $58.5 million bond issue for a new middle school Newly elected trustee Scott Lynch led the push to rescind the plan for the August bond issue. Now, the rapidly growing district might look at a less expensive plan to build a new elementary school.

Ahlquist on Common Core. The rollout of Idaho’s Common Core standards was flawed and frustrating, but Republican gubernatorial candidate Tommy Ahlquist says he isn’t pushing to repeal the standards. “He kind of shares the frustration of many parents,” campaign aide Todd Cranney said Tuesday. In June, the Associated Press reported that Ahlquist wanted to drop the Idaho Core Standards entirely.

Mission to Mars. Moscow High School senior Nick Pancheri is a self-described science geek. And this summer, he is pursuing his passion at a NASA research center in California, learning from engineers and astronauts about the possibilities of a manned mission to Mars. “The only way to get smarter and better at your passion, is to work with people who are smarter and better than you,” he says.


Kevin Richert is a reporter and blogger with Idaho Education News ( Idaho Education News is an independent news site focused on education policy and politics, funded by the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation. Richert has worked in the Idaho news media since 1985, as a reporter, editor and columnist.