Idaho’s new report card shows schools’ achievements

Posted at 11:54 AM, Aug 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-18 20:28:43-04

BOISE, Idaho — The State Department of Education’s revamped K-12 report card -- first unveiled in December -- is now updated with 2019 assessment results, other data, and new features.

“We’ve received great feedback from families and schools about our online report card -- and the new enhancements make it even more informative and user-friendly,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra said. “What’s even more exciting is that our efforts to help schools address problem areas and celebrate successes are already bearing fruit, as shown in our 2019 results.”

“Last year, 247 Idaho schools showed achievement gaps in one or more student subgroups -- for example, students with disabilities or English language learners. This year, that number has dropped to 188 schools,” Ybarra added. “That is wonderful testimony to the efforts of Idaho’s local educators.”

Officials said nearly 500 schools met their interim goals in one or more measures; and 178 schools were named top performers, placing in the 90th percentile in performance areas including English Language Arts and math achievement, performance growth and graduation rate.

The focus of Idaho’s new accountability plan, approved by the U.S. Department of Education in 2018, is to support schools and students to achieve by celebrating success, measuring growth, and partnering with local school leadership teams to identify specific supports and plans for improvement. Many Idaho schools that received targeted assistance to fill achievement gaps also were celebrated as goal-makers, Assessment and Accountability Director Karlynn Laraway said.

Officials also noted that three of the Idaho schools identified in 2018 for having continually low graduation rates have shown such improvement that they have dropped off the Comprehensive Support and Improvement School Grad list after their first year of that designation. Those schools are Lake Pend Oreille High School, Mountainview Alternative High School in the Lakeland School District, and Rimrock Junior-Senior High School in the Bruneau-Grand View Joint School District.

The new online IRI assessment is given in fall and spring to all Idaho public school students in kindergarten through third grade, measuring five foundational reading skills -– Alphabetic Knowledge, Phonemic Awareness, Vocabulary, Comprehension and Fluency -– to ensure students are learning to read so they can read to learn.

This past school year was the first for the new IRI, so “I look forward to next year, when we can see how this year’s kindergarteners progress as first-graders, and so on,” Laraway said.

The updated report card is available online. New accountability data -- including state, district and school results from the 2019 Idaho Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) and Idaho Reading Indicator -- also are on the State Department of Education’s Accountability page: