Ybarra’s shop issues (a lot of) ISAT data

It’s been a frenetic week at the state superintendent Sherri Ybarra’s shop — from Chuck Zimmerly’s ill-fated solicitation for campaign endorsements to the reveal of the Ybarra 2018-19 K-12 budget request.

But no rundown of the week would be complete without noting Thursday afternoon’s prodigious drop of test data.

The State Department of Education released its school- and district-level data for the Idaho Standards Achievement Test, the online exam aligned to the Idaho Core Standards in math and English language arts.

The department released the statewide ISAT scores in June. The updated numbers are unchanged, save for a slight improvement on fifth-grade math scores. Proficiency rates on the English section of the test improve in the latter grades; 47 percent of third-graders scored proficient of better, while 59 percent of 10th-graders hit the benchmark. For math, the trend is reversed. While 50 percent of third-graders scored proficient or better, only 32 percent of 10th graders hit that threshold.

The new numbers break down the scores by school and district, by grade level and by demographic groups. And, as with the summer statewide data drop, they include scores on the science version of the ISAT, which isn’t aligned to Common Core.

Said Ybarra, in a Thursday news release: “My team is digging deeper into the data so we can align our state and federal resources to support student and school success as we transition into a new accountability system that helps targets (sic) resources were (sic) they are most needed.”

Digging deeper is the operative phrase.

Idaho Education News has received the new data in spreadsheet form. In one spreadsheet, every grade level and every demographic group at every school gets its own line.

That comes to 140,640 lines.

So, yup, there’s a lot to dig into.

If you’d like to see some of the data for yourself, click here to check out the SDE’s website.

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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