The demand to improve Idaho’s public education system is growing. Teach For America leaders are fueling that movement.
Idaho may be one of the United States’ best kept secrets. Sometimes confused with Ohio and Iowa, or talked about in relation to its famous potatoes, Idaho has a lot more to offer than many people outside the state realize. Its most popular feature is outdoor recreation; Idaho’s landscape is bursting with variety. Mountains soar above 12,000 feet and canyons plunge to form Hells Canyon, the deepest river gorge in North America. With over 1 million acres of wilderness area, Idaho has more wilderness than any other state in the lower 48. The state's 13 national forests are great for fishing, hiking, and hunting, and the backcountry is filled with mountain trails for backpacking and exploring wildlife.
Idaho also faces some real challenges, particularly in education. As much as we all want to believe Idaho’s public education system is preparing all our kids for success, there’s a lot of data that says otherwise. Some of Idaho’s 302,000 students go to schools that present them with countless opportunities—advanced placement classes, mentoring programs, college and career counselors, a menu of extracurricular programs, and more. But thousands of kids, mostly from lower-income families or students of color, don’t get the same access. They attend schools unequipped to meet their needs which do not provide students with the tools they need to succeed and own their future.
But not all hope is lost. More and more Idahoans recognize the inequity that exists within our public schools and are calling for change. Policy makers from both sides of the aisle increasingly recognize their responsibility to enact legislation and policies that expand access for Idaho kids. Innovative school leaders and teachers are leading students to amazing results and inspiring us with what’s possible.
Teach For America Idaho is adding fuel to this movement. We’re recruiting more leaders to serve as high quality educators to some of Idaho’s neediest students. Those leaders become lifelong advocates who continue to push for change from all sectors and industries, not just from within schools. We do this in partnership with a growing network of philanthropists, businesses, and community organizations investing time and resources that make this movement even more powerful and effective.
As an Idaho corps member, you will have the unique opportunity to help us fuel the new but growing movement for educational equity in Idaho. Together, we can reach our shared vision: One day, all children in Idaho will have access to an excellent education.