Community Blog: The EDge

Valley students outpace Idaho counterparts — but only slightly

The Treasure Valley Education Partnership wants to do the state one better.

Or 20 percentage points better, actually.

The consortium of education business and nonprofit groups wants to see 80 percent of Treasure Valley high school graduates to go on to postsecondary education — by 2016. The State Board of Education’s goal for Idaho is 60 percent.

“We’ve got some work to do,” Bishop Kelly High School President Rich Raimondi said Thursday, as TVEP unveiled a report card on education in the Treasure Valley.

In 2012, 54 percent of Treasure Valley high school graduates went on to postsecondary school in the fall. And that’s a slight increase from 2009 (51 percent) and 2010 and 2011 (52 percent each year).

The college completion rate also increased slightly, reaching 28 percent in 2012. One year earlier, this number was 25 percent.

But this also underscores an education gap, even in the state’s most populous region. By 2020, more than 60 percent of Idaho jobs will require a completed postsecondary degree or certificate.

In other snippets from the report card, Treasure Valley students more or less mirrored their peers around Idaho:

  • The valley’s high school graduation rate of 93.5 percent is nearly identical to the state’s 93 percent rate.
  • Roughly a third of the valley’s high school students are college ready, based on 2012 SAT scores. Valley students scored slightly better than Idaho students on all three phases of the SAT: math, reading and writing.
  • Valley students receiving advanced scores on the Idaho Standards Acheivement Test varied considerably, from 62 percent on the third-grade math ISAT to 37 percent on the eighth-grade math ISAT. The valley’s ISAT scores were comparable to statewide results.
  • In fall 2012, 58 percent of valley kindergartners arrived at school reading-ready, according to Idaho Reading Indicator scores. The valley‘s IRI scores are slightly higher than statewide scores. However, scores have remained flat over the past five years, in the Treasure Valley and Idaho.

The TVEP report card covers 103,586 students in nine public school districts — Meridian, Boise, Nampa, Vallivue, Caldwell, Kuna, Mountain Home, Middleton and Emmett — and Bishop Kelly.

Kevin Richert is a reporter and blogger at Idaho Education News (idahoednews.org). Kevin is a former Statesman editorial page editor, with 27 year's experience in Idaho journalism.

Posted in The EDge