(Boise, ID, Wednesday, February 1, 2017) - We need to put all of our students on a path to success â€“ whether thatâ€™s college or a job. In order to do that, we need to hold all of our kids to high standards.
Four years ago, Idaho raised academic standards for all students to make sure that what kids were learning in the classroom was preparing them for what they would need to know in college or in the workplace. Now, students have two years of test scores aligned to those standards, and weâ€™re seeing across-the-board gains. The number of students on grade level in grades 3 through 8 grew just shy of 2 percentage points in English Language Arts and just over 2.5 percentage points in math, compared to students last year.
Kim Zeydel, Idahoâ€™s 2015 Teacher of the Year, has been teaching mathematics for 27 years, and most of those years she has spent teaching at-risk students. Highlights from Kimâ€™s teaching philosophy include the beliefs that all children can learn, and that teachers must invest in their studentsâ€™ ability to grow and succeed. In addition to Idahoâ€™s 2015 Teacher of the Year honors, Kim received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching in 2009.
Change wonâ€™t happen overnight. It takes time. And we have to work harder. We have to support our students and our teachers in reaching these goals. But lowering the bar is never the right thing to do. Weâ€™re seeing that high standards really do make a difference for all our kids.