State suspends charter school founder's certificate

Posted at 1:05 PM, Dec 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-08 15:05:38-05

This week’s education news:

Charter founder suspended. A state agency has suspended Sage International School founder Don Keller’s administrator’s certificate. The two-year Professional Standards Commission suspension centers on a variety of violations; the Boise charter school failed to meet the state’s minimum requirements for instructional hours, and the PSC says Keller misused state funds. Once a prominent figure in Idaho’s charter school movement, Keller now teaches in the Boise School District.

Goicoechea tort claim settled. The state controller’s office has settled a sexual harassment and discrimination tort claim involving Dan Goicoechea, Controller Brandon Woolf’s former chief of staff. The settlement includes a cash payout of $83,000, the Idaho Statesman reported Thursday. Woolf fired Goicoechea this summer, and Goicoechea briefly worked as a top aide to state superintendent Sherri Ybarra, before the sexual harassment complaint came to light.

Idaho’s grad rate: No. 40. Idaho’s graduation rate improved again in 2016, hitting 79.7 percent. But Idaho lost ground in national rankings, falling from No. 39 to No. 40. The State Board of Education wants Idaho’s graduation rate to hit 95 percent by 2023.

Otter hints at overhaul. “I’m going to ask the Legislature to structurally change exactly how we run higher education in the state of Idaho,” Gov. Butch Otter told hundreds of political and business leaders at Wednesday’s Associated Taxpayers of Idaho conference. Otter will go into details when he delivers his State of the State address in January. A gubernatorial task force has recommended far-reaching changes to the state’s higher education system.

A boundary battle. Pocatello students can attend the high school of their choice. The Pocatello-Chubbuck School District is considering setting high school boundaries — in part, to address socioeconomic gaps between the three high schools. Some parents are taking to social media to fight for the “school of choice” policy.


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.