ISAT review committee grows — considerably

The State Department of Education is looking for help scrutinizing Idaho’s new student exam.

And considerably more help than the Legislature bargained for.

The state says it needs 120 Idahoans to review questions for the Idaho Standards Achievement Test by Smarter Balanced — Idaho’s new assessment, aligned to Common Core standards. Idahoans will look over the test questions for potential bias and sensitivity concerns.

Parents, teachers and school trustees are eligible to sit on the review committee.

The committee will meet in Boise for five full days from Dec. 15 to 19 to review the committee — and if necessary, the committee, will reconvene from Jan. 6 to Jan. 8. Any questions flagged by the committee will go to the State Board of Education for review; the board will decide if the questions make the cut this spring, when the new ISAT is administered statewide.

Anyone interested in sitting on the Bias and Sensitivity Committee is asked to apply online by Oct. 30.

The 2014 Legislature voted to create a 30-member committee to review the assessment questions, at a projected cost of $75,000 a year. But the Education Department says that original panel is too small to complete the work.

“Because the committee must review more than 30,000 test questions, 120 people are needed,” the department said in a news release Monday.




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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