Superintendent Tom Luna

Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna

Tom Luna was sworn into a second term as Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction on January 7, 2011. Since first taking office, Tom has worked diligently to raise student achievement by creating a customer-driven public education system that meets the needs of all students and ensures that every student will graduate from high school prepared to live, work and succeed in the 21st century.

Since taking office, he has worked closely with Idaho's Governor to reform Idaho's education system to raise academic achievement for all students. Most recently, Idaho adopted and implemented a new Five-Star Rating Accountability System to use multiple measures, including academic growth, in evaluating student achievement and school performance.

Tom was first elected in 2007, and he made a lot of progress in the short amount of time. In 2007, just 26 percent of Idaho schools met the high academic goals the state set, known as Adequate Yearly Progress. By 2010, 62 percent of schools met AYP. Idaho led the nation in the increase in the number of schools making AYP.

During his first term as State Superintendent, Tom secured $20 million a year for the Classroom Enhancement Package, which provides additional funding for textbooks, remediation programs, and a supplies and materials stipend for every classroom teacher. He created the Rural Education Initiative to find solutions to the unique problems facing rural schools and conducted the Safe and Secure Schools Assessment to study the status of safety and security of all Idaho school facilities. He worked with teachers, parents, the business community, and others to develop and implement the successful Idaho Math Initiative to raise student achievement in math education across all grades.

In addition, Tom accomplished the following:

  • Implemented the Middle Level Credit System to bring more accountability to the middle grades and ensure Idaho students are prepared to go on to high school and beyond.
  • Worked with Idaho teachers, parents and administrators to create the Statewide Framework for Teacher Performance Evaluations to ensure Idaho teachers have fair, consistent and reliable performance evaluations that will improve the craft of teaching.
  • Helped secure funding and implement the Idaho Education Network, which is connecting every Idaho high school and college and university through a secure, broadband intranet.
  • Implemented New Nutrition Standards for Idaho School Meals to make sure every Idaho student receives healthy, nutritious and well-balanced meals while in school.
  • Modernized the Idaho State Department of Education offices in downtown Boise to save more than $60,000 a year by consolidating office space. In addition, the Department has found efficiencies and cost savings by significantly reducing printing, travel and meeting costs every year.

While serving as State Superintendent, Tom has made an effort to travel across the state of Idaho and tour schools in every region, visiting more than 90 school districts and charter schools in urban, suburban and rural parts of our great state during his first term in office.

Before becoming Idaho's Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom had a successful career in business spanning more than 25 years. Tom first got involved in the state's education system by serving on the Nampa School Board for seven years, including three years as chairman. Since then, Tom has served in education at the local, state and national levels.

Tom was appointed under former Governor Phil Batt to lead the Idaho Achievement Standards Commission. Under former Governor Dirk Kempthorne, he was appointed to chair the Idaho Assessment and Accountability Commission. The success of these two commissions resulted in the popular Achievement Standards and the Idaho Standards Achievement Test (ISAT), both useful tools for teachers and parents.

Tom served as a senior advisor to U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige from 2003 to 2005. He traveled the country on behalf of President Bush and Secretary Paige, focusing on rural education and school choice, two issues that greatly affect Idaho. Tom returned to Idaho in March 2005 where he continued to advocate for quality public education until he was elected state superintendent in November 2006.

Tom has served as President of the Council of Chief State School Officers, a nationwide organization that brings together the top education leaders from every state. He also serves on the National Assessment Governing Board, which is an independent, bipartisan organization that oversees The Nation's Report Card.

Tom originally moved to Idaho with his wife Cindy 30 years ago to attend college at BYU-Idaho (formerly Ricks College). Tom also attended Boise State University and later graduated from Thomas Edison State College. Tom and Cindy have raised six children, who all graduated from Idaho public schools. They are the proud grandparents of eight grandchildren. All of their children have graduated from public schools in Idaho.