Luna to New York Times: Idaho will have 'robust' online class requirement

Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna couldn't get lawmakers to agree to require online courses in high school, but he told the New York Times the State Board of Education will back a mandate.

In January, Luna proposed mandating that eight of 46 required high school courses be taken online. In the face of opposition from lawmakers, he scaled that back to six, then four. But lawmakers removed the provision in Senate Bill 1184, deferring details on online mandates to the unelected State Board of Education.

In a story published in the Times on Wednesday, Luna said he will propose a rule this summer and the board will back him.

“I have no doubt we’ll get a robust rule through them,” he told the Times. Four online courses is “going to be the starting number.”

Luna is the only elected member of the eight-member board. The others were appointed by Gov. Butch Otter, who supports the Luna reform plan.

Luna's spokesman, Melissa McGrath, offered this comment Wednesday afternoon:

"In the Statesman’s coverage of a NY Times article, I think it’s important to note that SB 1184 requires the State Board to consider an online learning requirement for the Class of 2016. In following with letter of the law in SB 1184, Superintendent Luna will take a proposal to the State Board. Four credits will likely be the starting point of the discussion since that was the number discussed during the Legislative session. This number is subject to change. Superintendent Luna’s comments reflect what is in the bill."


Now that's one way to get around both the voters and the legislature. Guess he doesn't care about anything except getting his own way. Hope all you legislators that backed his modified plan can see now that he doesn't plan to put up with any modifications.

And while we're on the

And while we're on the subject. Can anyone tell me why we still hear the "go on" ads when the legislature is making it harder and harder for our children to afford and go to college in Idaho? Seems an oxmoron to me.

They'll be Shiite colleges now so don't sweat it!


You must be lucky to be in the state I was born in!

yeah! That'll learn-em

Otter’s lap dog the corporate puppet is on the move to dumb down our kids!

Working hard

Glad to see Luna is still working hard for his corporate buddies. It will be a pleasure to see this buffoon out of office.

Will be interesting to see

If they back a lame duck who is facing a recall vote. Once the petition starts and the signatures start rolling in will they open their eyes and realize that the people don't want their form of reform.


What happens if this goes through and there is a percentage of young people who fail these online courses for whatever reason? We won't have the teachers to blame, and we certainly can't blame the online course providers who contributed to Luna's campaign. The citizens can only be deceived so many times, Tom and Butch.

You don't understand how

You don't understand how blame works. Of course, it will be teachers' fault. The problem wasn't the concept of on-line education, the nature of students, or the quality of the product. The problem will be that teachers influenced the kids to fail because they themselvs didn't buy in. It will be one big union thug conspiracy.

See how it works?

I'm going to throw up, puke, upchuck, vomit even!


You must be lucky to be in the state I was born in!

Luna has turned narcissist

Only his views and thoughts count.

Just imagine what he'll do next.

Now that he has gone this far, the sky is the limit.


This just proves how arrogant the Idaho republican party is, they know that the majority doesn’t want this but they still shove it down our throat because they know Idaho is dumb enough to vote them all back in. That is what why Idaho as a whole is a sad state of mind because everyone one of these blind corporate paid politicians will not be touched when they run again!

Sad, but true

There is no real difference as to what Luna and his party are doing regarding the radical education change, and to what the democrats did on a national scale last year with health care. Both just steam-rolled it through, despite a large percentage of the public expressing legitimate concerns. More time and public discussion should have occurred. At the very least, Luna should have had the truth and honesty to admit during his campaign that he was going to make these changes, rathern than say "everything was going great with education."

This is so reminiscent of the early 90's when Anne Fox was elected to the same position. She wasn't qualified in the least, and we all know the mess she had.

People need to drop the partisan crap and just start voting for what's right. Just because I may believe in some republican platforms, it doesn't mean I believe in ALL of them. Ditto for some democratic platforms. It's time to start looking at each issue and not going with another simply because that's what everybody else is doing...

Lunacy is way different than health care reform.

1. Obama made it very clear health care reform was a top agenda item for him should he be elected. The American people had a chance to say NO but sent him to DC fully cognizant that health care reform was a go.

2. Tom Luna, on the other hand, lied [read: campaigned] vigorously on the exact opposite of his "reform" plan. He stated he would access other revunue streams and that ID education was in great shape. The rw of this state sent him back and got not at all what they were expecting.

3. At the time HCR passed, 53% of Americans approved of the measure. That is a majority, which also coincides with the majority who sent him to DC. No dichotomy.

4. There is no chance to be non-partisan in this state, not anymore.


"Just because I may believe in some republican platforms, it doesn't mean I believe in ALL of them."
I hope you're not planning on voting in the republican primary. You are obviously not pure.

WHO CARES? Recess is over, by the way.


You must be lucky to be in the state I was born in!

Big difference

The difference is at least the dems argued their case and debated for health care, all the id reps did on this bill was listen to hours of testimony with 92% against them and vote the opposite direction! It was the BIGGEST slap in the face to Idaho EVER!


One thing you can say about Luna, he's very persistent in his idiocy. Where's that recall petition? I have pen in hand already.....

10 more days

According to the website the actual petition will be ready on the 16th.

I would have linked it, but apparently I'm not allowed to link to outside sites.

Just signed up to volunteer

Thank you, I just signed up to volunteer in the recall effort.

That's exactly what I was

That's exactly what I was thinking. The brilliant thing about a lot of folks like Luna is that those who disagree don't have to spin anything to make him look low on ethics and not terribly bright; He's doing a terrific job on his own.

Sure wished...

I had online cla$$es when I was in High School 1975-1979....all I had was disco....

Skates but not even INLINE then....maybe Rollfasts?


You must be lucky to be in the state I was born in!

Another lie

I'm not surprised.

Yep! No way in Hades he can run autonomously, NYT LIES,


You must be lucky to be in the state I was born in!

Oh dear, those scary, evil online courses again

Those courses that the students take through the interwebs, why they're just the same as that evil Elvis boy swinging his hips on the Ed Sullivan show, or those filthy hippies putting flowers in their hair. These online courses are evil, and we need to invoke divine help to stop them before they scourge the earth. If we don't, those online courses will permeate our homes and communities and families, and before you know it your kids will be mind controlled by them and they will come and kill you in your sleep and then take your car for a joyride.

It's like when my Aunt Millie started hearing voices coming from the radio box back in the early part of the last century. She couldn't understand how someone could be so small to fit in that funny box with the numbers and the dials. And then she heard other people in there as well, and became convinced that there were evil spirits in there. Well, to save her family she took that box out back into the hay field and shot it ten times with the shotgun, until all that was left was wood splinters and steel pieces she couldn't even recognize. She accidentally shot my Uncle Daniel in the process as he was trying to stop her, but it only hit him in the leg so he still had one good leg the rest of his life. Of course, once those voices left the radio box they just took up residence in Aunt Millie's head, and from then on she just wasn't the same person anymore and her family had to take her to the state hospital for a lobotomy and shock therapy. Even then she still heard those voices. Of course, after she figured out that she couldn't get rid of the voices she gave up and started listening to them, and since they were the voices from the radio she found out she really enjoyed the programming, especially the mystery shows, and they kept her company for the rest of her very short life.

So it really scares me to think that children today might have to learn through the internets. They're evil. They possess wicked spirits that will control young minds and force them to do the devil's bidding. Tom Luna is the devil. My neighbor's son's kindergarten teacher told him so. Apparently the devil is just here in public service because he is bored and likes Boise State football. And he likes to torture teachers and sacrifice them to himself. Tom Luna invented the netwebs so that he could destroy the world through online education courses. Because those online courses are evil. My dentist's janitor's personal accountant's neice's special needs teacher told her so, as well as that that teacher took a bunch of online courses to get her masters degree so she could get paid more money as a teacher. But I don't think that was all in the same conversation.

We need to have a candlelight vigil to strengthen ourselves against the coming of the online courses. And from what I've been told by reliable sources, we all need to bring our tin foil hats to the vigil so that the online courses can't know what we're thinking. Because if the online courses knew what we were thinking then they could use that to plan against us for our destruction, or at least sue us for defamatory thoughts. Because if the online courses sued us for all of our money, then that would be the same as destroying us, wouldn't it?

Very clever...

You're either a flunkey hired by K12, Inc. or a Republican Idaho legislator who soon will be out of a job.


Because the only people who could possibly agree with Luna's plan are K12 operators or the legislators who passed the bill. The whole rest of the world was against it.

You are right

There are morons who also like this bill, there I said it are you happy........he made me do it!

This never was about the online courses... don't fool yourself. It's not about education, it's not about reform, and it's not even about the balancing the budget...

Not all online courses are created equal...

One concern educators have with online courses is how they are going to be developed and funded. Meaning...what courses are going to be selected and how are they going to be administered. Idaho is famous for WAY under funding crucial educational programs...i.e. the development of Idaho's standardized test (ISAT). Our state ISAT test was so sloppy that the federal government fined our state over $200,000 (which we paid) and gave the State Department of Education a strict timeline to get the test in line with federal regulations. Why was Idaho fined for the ISAT test? The ISAT test was found to be statistically unreliable and invalid. The same student taking the test over and over again could score basic on one test, all the way up to advanced on another ISAT test. Basically some tests were easy and some were more difficult (in the same testing cycle). The federal government requires certain parameters for test reliability. Why was the test so sloppy? Idaho opted to spend a fraction of the money that surrounding states spent on developing their standardized tests. Even after we were fined and retooled the still stands as one of the most unreliable tests in our nation. Yes, our ISAT test is “barely legal”.

With our lawmakers cut corners mentality...are you really surprised that teachers fear how these online courses will be developed? Not all online courses are created equal...they can range from helping student achievement to seriously hindering a student’s academic growth.

Your counselor is concerned you aren't doing well @ group home


You must be lucky to be in the state I was born in!

On-line courses

In his appearance in front of the City Club of Boise Luna admitted that Idaho students presently average a 50% failure rate with on-line courses. Thats not a level of success accepted anywhere else in education yet Luna wants to expand it. I guess the devil really is in the details.

Is there an argument in

CCd3, is there an argument in there somewhere?

Deport him!

Deport him!

Richert or Barber ;-p Montana isn't hard


You must be lucky to be in the state I was born in!

I'm telling ya...

The way the GOP is treating workers, unions, the education system, ad infinitum: they spent us up in Iraq to the tune of $200B/year and now the citizens must suffer the consequences to pay the bill.

Of course he would. Any

Of course he would. Any good politicam would try to get what he wants done through regulation if he cannot through legislation.

Is Luna planning for a presidential run?

Why is he telling NY Times his plan... doesn't he live in Idaho... shouldn't he be telling Idahoans his plan?

Definitely time for a recall! And Otter should be recalled, too.

Excellent point.

Only his arrogance exceeds his ignorance. What a fool.

Luna's second job

For anyone who's curious, here is an example of what Luna does on the side. Just paste the link.

So, Regina the Rider is Otter?

Metaphorically speaking, of course. Thanks for the laugh.

Picture of Luna...

Have another donut Tom.

Times Article

I hope the general public reads the Times article (click blue link) to see what research from the U.S. Dept. of Education says about the efficacy of online education for K-12 students. Then they might understand why we "Union Thugs" express concerns!

The SBOE doesn't listen to Luna

He'll have a harder time getting his way through there.

The session has taken a toll on Luna. He reminds me of Bush. The more unpopular he becomes the more he believes he is doing the right thing. Blind drivers tend to kill their passengers and those around them.


Follow the MONEY=POWER, Luna is directing it to various and sundry pockets; some will stay right here in Joe Scott's trenches thru the Albertson's Foundation and his Virginia buddies.


This shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. Senate bill 1184 specifically says, "the state board shall" promulgate rules regarding the online graduation requirements for the graduating class of 2016 (freshman in the fall of 2012). This was widely portrayed, both by the legislature and the media, as a plan to "study" online requirements by the state board. Channel 7 even reported "calling the superintendent's office" to see if Mr. Luna was comfortable with the "dramatic" changes to the original bill, including the elimination of an online graduation requirement. "Shall promulgate" is directly contrary to how this was portrayed by the State Department of Education, the legislatute, and generally, the media. The language in Senate bill 1184 is not a quesion; it is a directive. Look for a minimum of 4 credits required for graduation; more likely it will be 8. This delivers about $34 million to private online education providers.