How one IRI high flier fell through the cracks

The school with Idaho’s highest spring reading scores fell through the cracks.

At Taylor’s Crossing Public Charter School in Idaho Falls, 97.5% of kindergarten through third-grade students scored at grade level this spring, school administrator Seth H. Boyle said in an email to Idaho Education News.

And yes, that 97.5% score would top every school on the spring version of the Idaho Reading Indicator, topping Gem Prep Online, a Meridian-based charter, with 91.2% of students at grade level. (Gem Prep Online headed a Top 10 list Idaho EdNews reported Wednesday, with the release of the spring IRI scores.)

So what happened with Taylor’s Crossing?

The State Department of Education does not report all scores for all schools, obscuring some results. The SDE says it masks the scores in order to protect student privacy — redacting scores that take in five or fewer students.

But these incomplete numbers also make it very difficult to compare schools or compile rankings.

The SDE reported that more than 95% of Taylor’s Crossing students hit grade level, while fewer than 5% of students scored near grade level and fewer than 5% were below grade level. The SDE masked all the Taylor’s Crossing scores to shield the small numbers of students near or below grade level, even though far more than five of the school’s students scored at grade level.

What the state reported — that more than 95% of Taylor’s Crossing students read at grade level — is consistent with Boyle’s email. And it does confirm Taylor’s Crossing had the top spring reading scores in the state.

But in compiling our Top 10 list last week, we included only complete, unmasked district and charter scores. And that’s why we didn’t have Taylor’s Crossing on the list.

Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

Get EdNews in your inbox

Weekly round up every Friday