Wednesday, October 26, 2011


A high school principal in Twin Falls was named the 2011 Milken Educator of the Year in Idaho during a surprise assembly Wednesday morning.

Brady Dickinson, principal of Canyon Ridge High School in Twin Falls, received $25,000 as part of the prestigious award from the Milken Family Foundation. He was recognized statewide for his visionary leadership, use of data to guide instruction, and ability to raise student achievement among all students at his school.

“I am proud to recognize Brady Dickinson as the 2011 Milken Educator of the Year in Idaho. Even though he is a new principal, he is a strong leader in his school and district. Because of his leadership, the students at Canyon Ridge High School are growing and excelling,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna said. “I also want to thank the Milken Family Foundation for its continual support of Idaho’s great educators. It is critical for us to recognize and reward excellence in our schools.”

Dickinson’s identity was kept secret until Superintendent Luna announced the award during a schoolwide assembly at Canyon Ridge High School on Wednesday. Superintendent Luna was joined by Dr. Thomas Boysen of the Milken Family Foundation, Dr. Wiley Dobbs, superintendent of the Twin Falls School District, local legislators, and members of the city council.

“Mr. Dickinson is truly deserving of this great honor. His enthusiasm for teaching and learning, his outstanding leadership abilities, the genuine care and concern he has for all students, his expertise in the profession’s ‘cutting edge’ strategies and practices, and his high level of integrity make him the caliber of administrator that all districts seek,” said Dr. Dobbs.

Dickinson is now one of 13 educators in Idaho – and one of only two principals – who have received the prestigious Milken Educator Award since Idaho joined the Milken program in 2003. More than 2,500 educators have received the award nationwide.

The Milken Family Foundation was established in 1982 to discover and advance inventive and effective ways of helping people help themselves, and those around them, lead productive and satisfying lives. The Foundation advances this mission primarily through its work in education and medical research. For more information about the Milken Family Foundation, please visit

About Brady Dickinson

Brady Dickinson was awarded the 2011 Milken Educator of the Year in Idaho because of his visionary leadership, use of data to guide instruction, and ability to raise student achievement among all students at his school. According to his colleagues, he believes every student can succeed and every teacher can help their students succeed.

Students at Canyon Ridge High School have shown gains in academic achievement in recent years because of Mr. Dickinson’s focus. He works hard to analyze the data available and make decisions on where to best place resources to help kids who struggle as well as those who excel. Even though he is a new principal, his colleagues recognize he is a great leader and often turn to him for leadership and guidance in tough times.

For these reasons and more, Brady Dickinson is the 2011 Milken Educator of the Year in Idaho.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


The Idaho State Department of Education is taking public comments on several proposed rule changes before they go before the State Board of Education for approval in November.

In Idaho, the administrative rule process requires a proposed rule to be initially approved by the State Board of Education and then go out for a 21-day public comment period. The proposed rule will go back to the State Board after the public comment period. If approved, it then goes to the Idaho Legislature for final approval.

Here is a brief description of some of the proposed rule changes that are now available for comment:

· Open Negotiations: The Students Come First law requires district negotiations with personnel to be conducted in open session. This rule would clarify that open negotiations should adhere to Idaho’s Open Meeting Law.

· Idaho Interim Certificate: The Professional Standards Commission approved this proposed rule change to help reinstate expired certificates. This rule change would respond to a statewide challenge in meeting federal guidelines for Highly Qualified teacher status and teacher shortages, by giving Idaho teachers greater flexibility in returning to the teaching field with the necessary certification.

· Teacher Evaluation: This rule change would clarify the new parent input and growth in student achievement requirements in teacher and school-based administrator evaluations as part of Students Come First.

· Assessment: The rule change would remove references to the Direct Writing Assessment (DMA) and Direct Math Assessment (DMA) tests that receive a waiver to discontinue their use in June of 2010.

· Dual Credit, College Entrance: This rule change would note that students participating in the Dual Credit for Early Completers Program do not have to complete their senior project prior to being eligible for the program, but must complete the requirement by the end of their twelfth grade or final year of high school.

The public has until October 26, 2011 to submit comments. To submit comments, please visit or fax comments to ATTN: Gaye Bennett at (208) 334-2228.

Please note: The proposed rule changes on the State Department of Education’s website do not include the proposed online credit requirement for high school students. That proposed rule change is available for comment online through the Office of the State Board of Education at

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna today called for elementary students across Idaho to participate in the annual Holiday Card Contest.

“Our annual Holiday Card Contest is a great opportunity for Idaho’s elementary students to showcase their artistic abilities and for us all to recognize the importance of arts in education,” Superintendent Luna said.

The contest is open to all public school students in grades K-6. One drawing will be selected to be published on the State Department of Education’s Web site at and used as the Department’s holiday greeting card. The child who submits the selected artwork will receive cards for his or her own use.

The following is a list of instructions for the 2011 Holiday Card Contest:

1. The contest is open to public school students in grades K-6.

2. Drawings should reflect winter scenes in Idaho appropriate for seasonal correspondence, and should not include copyrighted images such as Garfield the Cat, Bugs Bunny, Digimon characters, etc.

3. Drawings should be on 8.5” by 11” paper in a landscape format.

4. Drawings must be properly labeled. Write the name of the student, the student’s grade, district, school, and the teachers name on the back of the artwork. Please make sure this information is legible. (If you submit multiple grade levels, please keep the entries for each grade level separate.)

5. Students may use as many colors as they wish in their drawings and may use watercolors, colored paper, magic markers, crayons, or some combination. Bold colors work best for the printing process. Please note: Fabric designs and pencil drawings are not suitable to our printing process and will not be selected.

6. Students must be advised that entry into this contest constitutes (1) a waiver of all copyrights students have in their entries, and (2) permission to republish entries without compensation.

7. Drawings will not be returned.

8. The winning entries from each grade level will be published on the Idaho State Department of Education Web site at

9. Submissions must be postmarked by Friday, November 4, 2011. Results will be announced in December. Drawings may be mailed to:

State Department of Education
Attn: Melissa McGrath
P.O. Box 83720
Boise, ID 83720-0027