Idaho schools improve, but tougher tests are coming

The number of top-performing schools increased slightly in Idaho to 385 from 379 in the 2012-2013 school year, the Idaho Department of Education reports.

Ratings are based on a five-star system that began in the 2011-2012 school year..

Out of 648 schools statewide, 91 received the top five-star rating and 294 got a four-star rating. The number of schools to get the lowest rating dropped from 35 to 22.

“These most recent results not only show that a majority of Idaho schools are high-performing but also that a vast majority of Idaho students are performing at or above grade level in reading and mathematics,” Tom Luna, state superintendent of public instruction, said in a statement.

The rating system is based largely on a combination of academic growth and results from the Idaho Standards Achievement Test.

The ISAT’s days are dwindling in Idaho, however. The state is preparing to move toward exams based on the Idaho Core Standards, which will be field-tested in schools next year.  Core exams will be use as part of student and school accountability in  the 2014-2015 school year.

Star rating schools got in 2012-2013 will remain in effect for next school year while the Core exams are field tested.

Despite the fact that 59 percent of Idaho schools ranked in the four- and five-star category, educators say the standards on which Idaho bases its ISAT exams set a low bar.

Highlights from this year’s results:

– 158 schools increased by at least one star from the 2011-2012 school year.

– 90 percent of students scored at or above grade level in reading

– 82 percent score at or above grade level in math.

Click here to see how your school performed.

Posted in In The Classroom