Another pro-Wilson TV ad hits the airwaves

Another pro-Cindy Wilson third-party ad has surfaced in the state superintendent’s race.

But unlike the Idaho Education Association’s ad — which slams Republican incumbent Sherri Ybarra and does not mention Wilson — this ad touts the Democratic challenger and doesn’t mention Ybarra.

At least not by name.

“In Idaho, when something doesn’t work, we fix it,” says the start of the 30-second TV ad. “So when Idaho schools rank 48th in the nation, it’s time for new leadership.”

The No. 48 number is an apparent reference to Education Week’s annual rankings, released in January.

Ybarra has bristled at this ranking, saying Idaho schools are better than 48th in the nation. And Education Week’s rankings are nuanced. Idaho ranks No. 31 for K-12 achievement, for test scores and graduation rates, and No. 37 for “chance for success,” which incorporates metrics such as family income. Idaho does rank last in the nation for school finance, a category that includes per-pupil spending.

There isn’t too much to fact-check in this latest ad. The rest of the spot focuses on Wilson’s 30 years of teaching experience, and the fact that Gov. Butch Otter appointed Wilson to the state’s Board of Correction.

This latest ad was paid for by a group calling itself Our Schools, Our Future. The group appears to be relatively new; it has not yet filed any campaign disclosure reports. New campaign disclosure reports are due this week.

The cost of the IEA ads. The IEA received $249,000 from the National Education Association and put this money into the anti-Ybarra ads, Betsy Russell of the Idaho Press reported Friday. Here’s a link to her story on the ads, her fact-check and the fallout from the ad blitz.

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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