From controversy on Capitol Hill to blowback over local boundary changes, 2017 was a big year in education.
We reported, and you showed us which stories meant the most.
Some dealt with local, state or federal policies affecting your pocketbook or your child. Others outlined unique circumstances of students from across the state.
Here’s a recap of the year’s top education stories in Idaho, and the issues surrounding them. (Click here for our favorite photos of 2017.)
School bonds and levies
Judging by reader feedback and our online traffic, talk of local K-12 funding makes you both tick and click.
Our seven-part deep dive into local funding yielded some of our highest online traffic this year, including a story about two Boise elementary schools embracing the wrecking ball.
Either you love her or, well, you don’t.
Either way, your feelings for President Trump’s controversial ed secretary pick, Betsy DeVos, fueled a lot of our online traffic in 2017.
From a torrent of online criticism to the historic, razor-thin senate vote that put her into office, here’s a rundown of those heavily read stories:
- Crapo says he will support Devos nomination
- Crapo staffer: Calls ran overwhelmingly against Devos
- A turbulent week on capitol hill. Uncertainty in the statehouse.
If there’s anything more controversial among Idahoans than DeVos, it could be Idaho’s embattled science standards.
Legislators spent the past two sessions dissecting words in the state’s proposed science standards. They approved some temporary language earlier this year, but only after removing references to climate change — to the chagrin of many.
The 2018 Legislature is slated to revisit the issue. Here are two of our most popular stories to catch up:
- Science standards: House committee deletes climate change language
- Lawmakers prepare to take another look at new science standards
College go-on rates
Idaho has a lofty goal to see 60 percent of high school graduates earn some sort of college degree or certificate.
But here’s the thing: After five years and $100 million, the state is still far from reaching the go-on goal.
All that money and the high stakes made for useful reading, according to you. Here are two of our most-read go-on stories of 2017:
- Church missions continue to drag down college go-on rates
- A deeper dive into the go-on rates: A case study from Coeur d’Alene
People care more about people than concepts.
You helped prove the theory right this year, with heavy interest in our student features. From one student’s redemptive tale about overcoming drugs to another’s fears of being deported, these student features were among our most-read in 2017:
- Scared, alone, addicted: Mountain Home teen turns life around
- From Tijuana to Notre Dame: American Falls teen lives the American dream
Here are some of our other top stories of 2017:
- U.S. News and World Report recognizes 18 Idaho High Schools
- Jefferson County Administrators consider banning classic novel
- Bonneville reveals boundaries for new high school
- Danielson framework creator expresses concerns over Idaho teacher evaluations
- Students leave a permanent mark on Laurie Roberts’ classroom
- Schools and teachers to be graded on what kids say
- Who makes the most? Hint: It’s not the governor
- School leaders evaluate class time following snow closures
- Idaho ranks No. 46 in Education Week report
- Snow day doesn’t stop teaching and learning in Bishop Kelly
- Otter vetoes grocery tax repeal, allows highway bill to become law
- Bonneville trustees approve boundaries for new high schools and elementary schools
- Twin Falls teen and his alpaca bring joy to the community
- K-12 budget: Ybarra jumps off Trump train
- No surprises in Washington Post’s Idaho high school rankings
- Analysis: Grocery tax veto tears open widening rift in GOP