Interested in mastery learning? The state wants to hear from you

Idaho is weighing the transition to a mastery-based learning system, and the State Department of Education is forming a committee to take a closer look at the idea.

The department wants teachers and administrators to join the committee, which will meet through the summer.

Sherri Ybarra square
State superintendent Sherri Ybarra

“This is taking a prudent, ground-up approach in assessing the possibility of a mastery-based system in Idaho,” state superintendent Sherri Ybarra said in a news release. “The bottom line is we want to do what is best for kids; if the committee’s results show that this change would be best for kids, then let’s keep moving down that path to an Idaho solution.”

In 2013, Gov. Butch Otter’s education task force recommended switching to a mastery model — and abandoning a model that promotes students through grades based on seat time.

The 2015 Legislature followed up by establishing a mastery “incubator” program. In 2016-17, 20 school districts and charters will test out the mastery system. The law directs the State Department of Education to launch a statewide awareness campaign on mastery learning.

The state will take applications for the committee through June 5. For information, call or email Michelle Clement-Taylor at (208) 332-6963 or [email protected].

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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