Task force leaders record special EdNews podcast

Education task force co-chairs Debbie Critchfield and Bill Gilbert and Gov. Brad Little’s education advisor Greg Wilson are special guests on this week’s edition of Idaho Education News’ Extra Credit podcast.

Debbie Critchfield

The three education leaders visited Idaho EdNews’ office Wednesday to record a 45-minute special episode that covers the task force from beginning to end.

The podcast is available today at the bottom of this article.

Critchfield, Gilbert and Wilson discussed several topics during the podcast, including:

  • What were the goals for the task force?
  • What are the recommendations?
  • Why did Little appoint a businessman to serve as co-chair?
  • What did Little hope to get out of the process?
  • What is the accountability proposal all about and why is it focused on literacy?
  • Why did six Republicans on the task force abstain from voting or vote against some recommendations, and how might that affect implementation down the road?
  • What happens next?

“There were hard discussions, but they were honest earnest discussions and I think that led to the recommendations that we arrived at,” Gilbert said of the task force. “That only happens if the governor really sets the tone early on and is thoughtful in what he wants to come out of this.”

In addition to serving as task force co-chair, Critchfield is president of the State Board of Education. She works as a public information officer for the Cassia County School District and is a former member of Cassia County’s school board and has worked as a substitute teacher. You can read a profile of Critchfield here.

Bill Gilbert

Gilbert is the founder of a Boise-based financial management company and is an active member of Idaho Business for Education. He attended all 28 task force and subcommittee meetings this year. You can read a profile of Gilbert here.

Wilson serves as Little’s senior education advisor and served in the Idaho Army National Guard from 2013-2018. He previously served as Little’s chief of staff when Little was lieutenant governor, and as U.S. Rep Mike Simpson’s campaign manager beginning in 2012.

Hosted by Idaho Education News reporters Kevin Richert and Clark Corbin, Extra Credit is a free weekly podcast dedicated to exploring the complicated intersection of education policy and education politics.

We tell the story behind the stories we report.

New episodes are generally released each Friday. Listeners may subscribe via the iTunes store, Soundcloud or by searching “Extra Credit education podcast” on your iPhone’s podcast app.

Idaho EdNews reporter Clark Corbin attended and covered 25 of the 28 meetings the task force and its subcommittees held over the past five months, traveling to Moscow, Pocatello and Twin Falls in the process to follow the recommendations take shape.


Clark Corbin

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