Skip links



Bluum is a nonprofit organization helping Idaho become a national model for how to maximize learning outcomes for children and families.

The Science of Reading Comes Home to Idaho

Andy Johnson began working as an administrator at the Sage International Network of Schools (with a campus in Boise and another in Middleton) in July of 2020, and immediately noticed that too many students weren’t learning how to read fluently.

Something clearly was wrong.

He examined the reading curriculum being used and concluded that was a major part of the problem. Students too often weren’t being taught to sound out words, but rather to infer meaning from pictures or hypothesize what word might work in a sentence. The curriculum employed a common practice called three-cueing used in schools across the country for the past several decades.

Listen to Your Teacher: Analysis of Teachers Sentiments

The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools recently unveiled a new report based in a nationwide survey by The Harris Poll titled Listen to Your Teacher: An Analysis of Teacher Sentiment on the State of Public Education. The survey, encompassing over 1,200 public school teachers from district and charter schools, explores teacher experiences and challenges. It also examined teachers’ motivations for entering, staying in, or leaving the classroom. Findings throughout showed charter teachers having higher rates of overall satisfaction and gratification in the field.

Here to Stay

The fastest-growing student demographic in Idaho is Hispanic students. Through our new study, Here to Stay, we sought to learn more about the experiences of Idaho’s Hispanic parents around their education hopes, concerns, and opportunities. We are hopeful the findings from this research study can help Idaho’s leaders better design policies in each of these areas.

Parent Survey and Focus Group Findings from Idaho’s Empowering Parents Program

Results from the focus groups and survey of Idaho parents who received funding from Idaho’s Empowering Parents grant program. These findings are based on an online survey conducted January 17-26, 2023, with 359 parents who applied for an Empowering Parents grant. The survey work was conducted by the New York City-based FDR Group and funded by the Walton Family Foundation. Bluum was proud to coordinate the efforts on the ground in Idaho. Our hope is that this work helps strengthen support for the Empowering Parents Program while also providing ideas for improvements.

Introducing Idaho’s Charter Effort to House & Senate Ed Committees

It’s been 25 years since Idaho’s first charter schools opened their doors, yet misunderstandings of this model for public education still exist. This morning, our CEO, Terry Ryan, had the opportunity to share the history and impact of Idaho’s public charter schools on students and families with both the Senate and House Education Committees.

Building For Success in Idaho

Idaho is one of the nation’s fastest growing states. Many of our schools are overcrowded, and our student demographics are changing rapidly. Over the past decade, our state’s overall K-12 enrollment has grown by about 55,000 students, almost 20 percent (10,422 students) of which has been in the state’s public charter schools. With all this growth in student enrollment, public schools in Idaho—both traditional school districts and charter schools—have struggled to keep up with the need for new and expanded school facilities.

To help illuminate the scale of the facility financing inequities in Idaho, and most importantly to offer up solutions, especially for public charter schools, Bluum partnered with the Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd) to generate this policy brief, Building for Success in Idaho.

NAEP Scores Hold Troubling and Good News in Both Traditional and Charter Schools

By Terry Ryan and Ray Crowell
The recent release of NAEP scores holds much troubling news for the nation’s students and some important lessons for us here in Idaho. NAEP is considered the “Gold Standard” in student performance over time across the nation’s schools. The 2022 results have triggered anguish and deep concern as our student performance, especially in math, has declined significantly since the last NAEP administration in 2019. Educators and policy makers were expecting to see a decline because of COVID-19 and the school closures it precipitated. In much of the country and for our neediest students these declines were worse than many had feared.