Celebrating successes: Idaho’s ISAT high performers in Top 10 lists

While Idaho’s average math and ELA ISAT scores did not meet state goals, certain schools and districts have far surpassed those benchmarks. 

Top 10 lists allow those schools and districts a moment in the spotlight to celebrate their successes. 

But schools, districts, and charters are so different that comparisons are often unfair. For example, certain charter schools and magnets might be able to attract a primarily college-bound clientele who are especially self-motivated to achieve academic success. Essentially, some of those become de-facto advanced or honors schools, so comparing them to a traditional public school isn’t necessarily equitable. 

Other factors also play into what are apples-to-oranges analogies. Take a school’s enrollment numbers. In smaller schools and districts, it can be easier to achieve high proficiency rates than in large schools/districts because data more easily skews high or low based on the performance of a relative few. 

And then there are demographics. A student body’s affluence, English proficiency, and other such factors can affect a school’s test results. An analysis of this year’s ISAT results shows a large achievement gap between certain student groups – students with disabilities, limited English proficiency, or who are migrant, in foster care, experiencing homelessness, and/or are African American fared the worst on the exam. 

On top of that, the State Board of Education’s data management council sets rules to redact certain test results or other student information for a number of reasons.  Therefore, some schools’, districts’, and/or charters’ data has been redacted or masked to protect student privacy. That means some won’t be represented on these lists.

When parsing through recently-released ISAT data, EdNews first released a top 10 list that grouped together traditional school districts and charters – together called local education agencies (LEAs). 

This group of lists is another way to consider ISAT results, and takes a look at top performers as sorted by traditional public schools; nontraditional public schools; traditional public districts; and nontraditional public LEAs. 

It’s still an imperfect way to compare schools – the lists don’t take into account factors such as enrollment, grades served, or demographics. But it gives the public a glimpse at some of the state’s high performers. 

To see a complete list of ISAT math results for schools in alphabetical order, click here. To see a complete list of ISAT ELA results for schools in alphabetical order, click here

ELA scores by district and LEA are available here. Math scores by district and LEA are available here.

Top Ten Traditional Public Schools


(State proficiency target: 68.7%)

Collister Elementary     84.1
McCall-Donnelly High 82.8
Paramount Elementary     82.5
Twin Falls High  82.1
Harrison Elementary 81.7
Highlands Elementary  81.6
Moscow High  81.4
Glenns Ferry High <81
Edahow Elementary  80.9
Northside Elementary  80.8



(State proficiency target: 61.1%)

Paramount Elementary  83.5
Edahow Elementary  81.7
Highlands Elementary  79.1
Teton Elementary  79.1
Collister Elementary  78
Prairie Elementary 76.2
Eagle Hills Elementary  75.9
Discovery Elementary  75.8
Siena Elementary 75.3
Washington Elementary (Boise)   75.1

Top Ten Charter/Magnet/Nontraditional Public Schools


(State proficiency target: 68.7%)

Idaho Fine Arts Academy 90.9
Meridian Medical Arts Charter >90
Meridian Technical Charter High >90
North Idaho Stem Charter Academy >90
Sorensen Magnet of the Arts and Humanities 85.6
Galileo Magnet School 85.1
Gem Prep: Online  >82
Pioneer School of the Arts 81.4
Compass Public Charter >81
Legacy Charter  <80



(State proficiency target: 61.1%)

Renaissance High 92.5
North Idaho Stem Charter Academy >90
Meridian Technical 81.8
Meridian Medical Arts 81.4
Galileo Magnet 79.2
Sorensen Magnet School of the Arts and Humanities  78
Pioneer of the Arts 77.2
Victory Charter <76
Chief Joseph of the Arts 72.3
Eliza Hart Spalding Stem Academy 69.8


Top Ten Public Traditional School Districts


(State proficiency target: 68.7%)

Troy 84
Swan Valley 77
Kootenai 75.2
McCall-Donnelly 74.8
Genesee 72.3
Grace 70.9
West Ada 68.4
North Gem 66.7
Cottonwood 66.2
Moscow 65.8
Murtaugh 65.4



(State proficiency target: 61.1%)

Rockland 78.2
Troy 69.3
Kootenai 67
McCall-Donnelly 63.7
Cottonwood 63
Genesee 61.3
Murtaugh 59.5
West Side 58.3
Nezperce 58.3
Grace 58.1
Cascade 58.1




(State proficiency target: 68.7%)

Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy 92.3
North Idaho Stem Charter Academy 92.1
Gem Prep: Online 85
Compass Public Charter 82.2
North Star Charter 79.8
Legacy Public Charter 79.3
Gem Prep: Meridian North 78.4
Thomas Jefferson Charter 77.8
Victory Charter 77.3
Liberty Charter 75.9



(State proficiency target: 61.1%)

North Idaho Stem Charter Academy 92.3
Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy 89.6
Legacy Public Charter 76.4
Victory Charter 73.2
North Star Charter 71.8
Compass Public Charter 70.4
Gem Prep: Meridian North 69.3
Liberty Charter 69.2
Thomas Jefferson Charter 68.6
Gem Prep: Online 66.2

Data analyst Randy Schrader contributed to this report. 

Carly Flandro

Carly Flandro

Carly Flandro reports from her hometown of Pocatello. Prior to joining EdNews, she taught English at Century High and was a reporter for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. She has won state and regional journalism awards, and her work has appeared in newspapers throughout the West. Flandro has a bachelor’s degree in print journalism and Spanish from the University of Montana, and a master’s degree in English from Idaho State University. You can email her at [email protected] or call or text her at (208) 317-4287.

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