There is much to be optimistic about now that Gov. Butch Otter has commissioned the State Board of Education to lead a new task force on the topic of higher education. Otter’s Task Force for Improving Education, formed four years ago to tackle K-12 issues, was populated with a focused, no-nonsense collection of educators, administrators, citizens and lawmakers who produced 20 recommendations that were on point, doable, and largely successfully implemented and funded by the Idaho Legislature, which bought into the task force’s five-year blueprint. The eclectic and independent nature of that task force has been a stellar example of collaboration in state government because it engaged the public and lawmakers in a joint venture.

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