Instead, we should focus on closing the achievement gap between our Hispanic, American Indian and low-income students and their Caucasian and more affluent peers.
Just a few years ago fewer than half of our students were not prepared for kindergarten. Now almost six out of 10. Clearly, our state is moving in the wrong direction.
This threat is especially dangerous if our young people buy into this narrative. After all, it’s their future success in school, work and life that is at stake.
How can we help students get the skills they need to qualify for a family-sustaining job or build the workforce our economy needs if we can barely pass an increase in scholarships that make postsecondary affordable?
But accomplishing it will take bold leadership, further investment, wise choices and laser-like focus.
What if we set more students up for success in school, work and life before we waste their talent and potential? Now that’s really doing something.
And the only way to defeat it is for responsible adults to give struggling students an equal shot at success.
Idaho could learn a lesson from Tennessee, which is promoting post-secondary education as a way to invest in the future.
We need to do more to get our students to go on and graduate with a credential if we are to have the educated workforce our employers need. Although the state has adopted many good policies and investments, we need even bolder steps or our economy will suffer.
Invest more in education and focus single-mindedly on student achievement.