About the state’s mastery school waiting list …

Last week, state superintendent Sherri Ybarra said Idaho should expand its mastery education program, because her department has a long waiting list of would-be pilot schools.

In response to an inquiry from Idaho Education News, the State Department of Education provided a list of 50 districts or schools that would like to experiment with mastery. But it’s hard to say how solid that list is.

“We started compiling it during the summer of 2016, adding districts and schools as they’ve expressed interest in being included in a future pilot cohort,” Ybarra spokesman Scott Phillips said in an email. “Knowing there’s turnover in districts and schools, we haven’t gone back and re-queried them to ascertain their intentions.”

In addition, the list includes two charter schools that aren’t yet up and running, McCall Community School and Elevate Charter School in Caldwell, and contains a reference to “various Catholic schools.”

Another variable: Many school districts could add multiple schools to the state’s mastery “incubator” program, if they get the chance, Phillips said.

Ybarra is pushing to expand the state’s experiment in mastery-based education — which moves students through a school based on subject knowledge, rather than time spent in a particular grade. She has proposed doubling mastery funding from $1.4 million to $2.8 million, which could expand the number of pilot programs from 19 to 40. She also is working on a bill to lift the cap on the number of mastery pilots.

Here is the state’s waiting list.

  • Anser Charter School, Garden City
  • Basin School District (Idaho City Middle/High School)
  • Bear Lake School District, Paris
  • Blaine County School District, Hailey (expansion)
  • Boise School District (Frank Church High School)
  • Bonneville School District, Idaho Falls (expansion)
  • Buhl School District
  • Camas County School District, Fairfield
  • Cassia County School District, Burley
  • Challis School District
  • Clark County School District, Dubois
  • Coeur d’Alene School District (expansion)
  • Cole Valley Christian School, Boise and Meridian
  • Cottonwood School District
  • Council School District
  • Elevate Academy, Caldwell
  • Filer School District
  • Genesee School District
  • Glenns Ferry School District
  • Hagerman School District
  • Idaho Department of Juvenile Corrections
  • Idaho Digital Learning Academy, Boise
  • Jerome School District
  • Kootenai School District, Harrison (Kootenai Junior/Senior High School)
  • Lake Pend Oreille School District, Ponderay (Hope Elementary School, Northside Elementary School,
    Lake Pend Oreille Alternative High School)
  • Lakeland School District, Rathdrum
  • McCall Community School
  • Marsh Valley School District, Arimo
  • Marsing School District (Marsing Elementary School)
  • Middleton School District (expansion)
  • Minidoka School District, Rupert (West Minico Middle School)
  • Mountain Home School District (Bennett Mountain High School)
  • Nampa School District (expansion)
  • North Gem School District, Bancroft
  • Orofino School District
  • Plummer-Worley School District
  • Pocatello Community Charter School
  • Preston School District
  • Project Impact STEM Academy, Kuna
  • Ririe School District
  • Rolling Hills Public Charter School, Boise
  • Salmon River School District, Riggins
  • Shelley School District
  • Swan Valley Elementary School District
  • Twin Falls School District
  • Troy School District
  • Vallivue School District, Caldwell (expansion)
  • Various Catholic schools
  • West Side School District, Dayton (expansion)
  • White Pine Charter School, Ammon


Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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