On April 27, Carol Billing and Molly Wolk represented College of Western Idaho’s (CWI) Education Department at the Mountain Plains Adult Education Association (MPAEA) and Idaho Lifelong Learners Association’s (ILLA) Conference at the Riverside Hotel in Boise. The duo provided an overview of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which replaces No Child Left Behind (NCLB).
While the policy is still very new, Wolk and Billing explained how teacher preparation programs at community colleges are not considered within ESSA’s accountability plan. Since community colleges provide an essential pipeline of first-generation, non-traditional, STEM-focused and career switching students into four-year institutions, and ultimately into Idaho’s classrooms, the adoption of ESSA in Idaho needs to account for teacher preparation programs at all post-secondary institutions. Billing and Wolk are some of the first in the state to present on this new legislation, and their session sparked authentic and collegial conversation around this bill.