Idaho teachers have to make the IT grade

Idaho teachers have to make the IT grade

All those computers in the classroom aren't much good if the teachers don't know what to do with them. That's one reason the Idaho Board of Education this week approved a motion to require all its teachers to pass an IT proficiency exam.

All kindergarten through Grade 12 teachers will have to demonstrate basic knowledge and skill in five areas: computer equipment, word processing, spreadsheets, multimedia presentations and the Internet. Teachers can take one of several exams: the Technology Competency Examination at Boise State University; the Technology Portfolio Assessment at Idaho State University in Pocatello; or the Technology Performance Assessment at the University of Idaho in Moscow.

If teachers don't meet this standard, their schools could lose points in the accreditation process, said Allison Westfall, public information officer for the Education Department.

If the Legislature approves the motion, the standard could be required by 2003.

The Legislature had set an earlier goal for 90 percent of all teachers and administrators to pass the exams by this year. As of now, 86 percent of all Idaho teachers have met this requirement, Westfall said.

About the Author

Trudy Walsh is a senior writer for GCN.

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