WSJ's McGurn: Luna, 'Son of Scott Walker' - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

WSJ's McGurn: Luna, 'Son of Scott Walker'

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Posted: Thursday, June 28, 2012 11:15 am

It's on. On the Idaho ballot, that is. Come November, Idahoans will vote on three referenda aimed at repealing what may be the nation's most sweeping education reform, including new limits on collective bargaining for teachers. Think of it as the sequel to Wisconsin, where similar reforms led to a similar effort—the attempted recall of Gov. Scott Walker.

At the heart of the political drama in Idaho is the state's superintendent of public instruction, Tom Luna. A glance at Mr. Luna's résumé shows a career businessman who became involved in his local school board and went on to serve in the Bush Education Department before returning to Idaho to run for his present office in 2006. Most refreshing is what's not on Mr. Luna's résumé: a degree in education.

That makes Mr. Luna an outlier within the education blob that runs our public school systems. It may also explain the boldness of the reforms he helped push through the state legislature in spring 2011. Called "Students Come First," it was a package of legislation that limits collective bargaining, introduces merit pay, and takes advantage of new technology to help give more Idaho students the education they need for college. Austin Hill's blog/

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • cdanative33 posted at 5:54 pm on Fri, Jun 29, 2012.

    cdanative33 Posts: 376

    Still waiting local res.

  • cdanative33 posted at 8:36 am on Fri, Jun 29, 2012.

    cdanative33 Posts: 376

    When ideology collides with reality it often gets very quiet.

  • cdanative33 posted at 8:06 am on Fri, Jun 29, 2012.

    cdanative33 Posts: 376

    By pointing out tenure as the problem, you're making my point in an indirect way. What you're saying is that having the best teachers in the classroom is the determinative factor in a successful educational system. Why would the best teachers come to or stay in a state that compensates them less than almost anywhere else in the nation and has promised to continue to cut into their salaries? I've asked this simple question numerous times on numerous blogs and none of the luna supporters want to answer it...I think we all know why.

  • local res posted at 12:03 am on Fri, Jun 29, 2012.

    local res Posts: 1165

    I hate to bring this up but our school system is currently failing and the people in charge all have degrees. Actually an employer would reward good employees and fire poor employees. However in the school system they have a public employee union that started something called Tenure.

    Definition: What is tenure? In general terms, tenure is a guaranteed job contract that is given to individuals who have over a period of between two and seven years, proved their skills. After this point, they cannot be fired without just cause. In terms of teaching, the purpose of tenure is to give teachers the freedom to pursue research and teach as they see fit without concerns of a political nature. It is often very hard to remove a tenured teacher, as severe misconduct must be proved. Teacher tenure has come under fire over the past decade as one of the problems facing education. Teachers argue that they have earned tenure and should be able to feel secure in their job so as to free them up to do a better job. Further, they do not wish to feel as if their personal opinions or political beliefs should have an impact on whether they have a teaching job. On the other hand, opponents argue that removing teacher tenure would give administrators the ability to more easily get rid of poor performing teachers.

  • cdanative33 posted at 7:10 pm on Thu, Jun 28, 2012.

    cdanative33 Posts: 376

    Interesting that a businessman would think that cutting his employees pay and security would lead to better outcomes.

  • 5inPfs posted at 2:11 pm on Thu, Jun 28, 2012.

    5inPfs Posts: 749

    "Most refreshing is what's not on Mr. Luna's résumé: a degree in education."

    I don't call that refreshing. I call that ill-considered. Moronic, even.

    Is this commentator a shill for Mr. Luna?

    "takes advantage of new technology to help give more Idaho students the education they need for college."

    Laptops are new technology? Online classes? College? There is no correlation there.

    Students start using computers in kindergarten in Idaho. By the time they reach high school (where they will receive the much touted laptop) the students are so technically savvy they run circles around the adults. What exactly is it that this "new technology" is going to teach our children? How to take online classes? Really how stupid does Mr. Luna think our children are? I'm still waiting to see how taking online classes prepare our children better for college...

  • voxpop posted at 11:42 am on Thu, Jun 28, 2012.

    voxpop Posts: 738

    I guess, for Luna and the rest of the public Ed haters in Boise, being 50th in state support for education is still spending too much. But then why put it into our kid's future when they can put it in their own pocket instead.

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