West Ada graduates criticize ‘Don’t Fail Idaho’ ad

The state’s largest school district has posted a response to the controversial “Don’t Fail Idaho” ad campaign — a video featuring two college-bound graduates.

The three-minute video appears on the West Ada School District’s website, and was presented at Tuesday night’s West Ada school board meeting. In the video, the 2016 graduates criticize a theme in the “Don’t Fail Idaho” ad campaign — the contention that four out of every five high school graduates are not prepared for life after high school.

“It’s not a very encouraging thing to hear,” said Becca, a graduate who will attend BYU-Idaho in the fall. “I feel like I’m pretty ready.”

The “Don’t Fail Idaho” ads, produced by the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation, are based on 2015 Idaho scores on the SAT. Only a fifth of Idaho students met the college-readiness threshold set by the College Board, the nonprofit that produces the SAT. (In April, when students took the new version of the SAT, a third of Idaho students met both of the College Board’s revised college-readiness benchmarks.)

Foundation Executive Director Roger Quarles declined comment Wednesday on the West Ada video. The foundation says its ad campaign was designed “to inspire an informed and productive conversation about learning .”

For more about the students’ video, here’s a story from Bill Roberts of the Idaho Statesman.

Disclosure: Idaho Education News is funded through a grant from the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation.

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]

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