Editor's Note 

Teacher Talk

There's a lot of teacher talk in my family. My mother is an elementary-school principal in North Idaho, my wife is a middle-school teacher-turned-adjunct professor at Boise State University, and my grandmother spent years lording over an English-language library in her Merida, Mexico, expat home. I even embarked on a short-lived stint as a substitute teacher--my occasional students took to calling me Mr. Snead for reasons I don't think were entirely affectionate.

Any time my wife and mother get together, talk soon turns to Idaho Core, technology in the classroom, inquiry-based learning and, of course, how corrosive the Idaho Legislature is to education from the first day of preschool to the day students throw their college-earned mortarboards.

The gist of these conversations usually follows certain threads: Idaho Core is good but is implemented in a troublesome top-down way; technology is a boon in the classroom but not a panacea; inquiry-based learning--students investigate problems rather than memorize facts--best sharpens young minds; and, of course, the Idaho Legislature isn't mentioned without spitting on the ground.

In keeping with back-to-school time, this week's paper devotes a chunk of coverage to education--including Idaho Core and technology in the classroom but also expanding to encompass a wide range of issues.

On Page 7, former Boise Weekly intern and 2013 College of Idaho graduate Sklyar Barsanti digs into her alma mater's decision to reinstate a football program after 37 years away from the gridiron. With the first home game scheduled for Sept. 13, Barsanti's piece highlights the pros (raising the school's profile, attracting new students, benefiting the Caldwell economy) and the cons (fears that football will detract from the C of I's strong academic reputation).

On Page 10, BW News Editor George Prentice interviews the woman responsible for getting Boise kids to school safely and on time: Boise School District transportation supervisor Lanette Daw. On Page 11, Prentice drills into the topics dominating teacher talk around the state and, on Page 21 he pens an essay about Hollywood's inaccurate portrayal of educators.

It's sometimes complex and arouses strong opinions, but we think there are few things more important than examining the many facets of education in Idaho--if nothing else, after reading, we can better keep up our end of the conversation with the teachers closest to us.

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