Luna's Idaho education reforms slammed in letters to New York Times

This week's story, "Teachers Resist High-Tech Push in Idaho Schools," featured a Post Falls dateline and quoted three teachers: Ann Rosenbaum of Post Falls High School, Doug StanWeins of Boise High and Stefani Cook at Rigby High.

Idaho Senate Finance Committee Chairman Dean Cameron, R-Rupert, also weighed in, telling the Times the legislature was “dazzled” by lobbyists for high-tech companies who gave to Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna's 2010 re-election campaign.

"It’s almost as if it was written by the top technology providers in the nation," Cameron told the Times. "And you’d think students would be excited about getting a mobile device, but they’re saying: not at the expense of teachers."

In letters to the Times published Thursday, three readers echo those sentiments and critique the role of technology.

Wendy Turgeon teaches at St. Joseph's College in Patchogue, N.Y., and writes of a dramatic increase in technology use by students.

"Despite the ready access to these information-rich tools, our students come to college with weak attention skills and too often an active dislike of sustained reading," writes Turgeon. "Their knowledge base is far less than that of their parents and older siblings who lacked the ready access to technology."

University of Minnesota professor Michelle Mason adds: "In more than a decade of university teaching, I have never found reason to worry that a student lacked competency with computers or the Internet. But I have often had reason for concern that overreliance on e-mail, social media and the Internet have eroded students’ mastery of the language, stifled a facility for conversation and debate, and undermined their ability to identify and engage reliable sources of information and scholarship."

Robert Boyd of Staten Island, N.Y., salutes Rosenbaum and writes that "a computer cannot teach a student to think deeply."

Luna told the Times: “The role of the teacher definitely does change in the 21st century. There’s no doubt. The teacher does become the guide and the coach and the educator in the room helping students to move at their own pace.”

Revisions to the 2011 laws backed by Luna and Gov. Butch Otter are expected this session. Voters will also have a chance to repeal the laws in the Nov. 6 election.

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Not a partisan issue

Good to see that this is not a simple R vs. D issue. There is plenty for both parties to find major faults with this ill-conceived, disingenuously-implanted legislation. Good to see Republican voices not afraid to speak out against these harmful laws.

Got tired of writing Luna and getting ignored, huh?

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Websites: Everytime you get it the way you're comfortable with somebody gives a monkey a rock, bottle and a dollar.

When a dislike of prolonged reading is expressed...

something is wrong i.e. too many videogames.

There is one awful lot of prolonged attention, heavy reading material on the internet...

Something is bozo there.

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Websites: Everytime you get it the way you're comfortable with somebody gives a monkey a rock, bottle and a dollar.

Apparently, it doesn't take much...

to dazzle Idaho legislators.

Revisions to the plan.

Revisions to the plan. Sounds scary. Here we go again. Hopefully the voters will turn out.

They of course do not have

They of course do not have any conflicts of interest in their reports. What's the matter teachers? Afraid you will be bested by a laptop. ;)

Put a sock monkey in it.

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Websites: Everytime you get it the way you're comfortable with somebody gives a monkey a rock, bottle and a dollar.

Luna's legacy

Could be a generation of the poorest educated. But the teachers will be blamed-- at least those that stuck around.

Really?

The teacher does become the guide and the coach and the educator in the room helping students to move at their own pace.”

Now wait a second..........Luna is now saying that teachers need to be in the room with students?? I thought the brilliant plan was to NOT have teachers in the room helping students......huh, that's odd.

Read more here: http://voices.idahostatesman.com/2012/01/06/idahopolitics/luna_laws_slammed_letters_new_york_times#storylink=cpy

Fits in with today's story

About the failure of online and virtual education providers to make AYP.

Story Comments

And the comments on the New York Times story online were even more brutal against the "lunatic laws."

the referendum

As Sen. Cameron said when voting no--"There's nothing to like about this law". Hopefully, the loyal opposition is collecting a scrapbook of comments from experts, teachers, students et. al. to use in the campaign to repeal these ridiculous laws. "Students come First" my hindquarters. Apple, Microsoft, K-12 and Luna (when he lands a cushy coporate or lobying job) really come first. Check out Mr. Luna's alma mater, Thomas Edison Univ. in New Jersey where you can buy a degree using credits from any other college, or from "work experience". Any loggers out there need a BS in Forestry--try TEU

teachers vs corporate profits

sad when your gov trades community building teacher jobs for out of state corporate profits. Help

Where are the Luna supporters

With the if the New York Times doesn't like him then he must be doing something right chants?