Treasure Valley students show little or no growth

A student-performance report from Treasure Valley schools shows stagnant growth in 11 indicators, ranging from school readiness to obtaining a post-secondary degree.

The Treasure Valley Education Partnership (TVEP) released its “Report to the Community” Wednesday, and most numbers were disappointing.

Rich Raimondi
Rich Raimondi

“We have a lot of work to do,” said TVEP chairman Rich Raimondi, president at Bishop Kelly High School. “We first want to be open and transparent about our baseline. I think we will see (increases) in the next couple of years.”

TVEP organized three years ago and includes Bishop Kelly and nine area districts: Boise, Caldwell, Emmett, Kuna, Middleton, Mountain Home, Nampa, Vallivue and West Ada.

The second annual report used the most current available data from the districts. The data will be monitored and measured every year.

The report’s key findings:

  1. There has been no increase in the percentages of students who are ready to learn to read when they enter kindergarten.
  2. SAT results reveal that only one-third of Treasure Valley juniors are ready for college.
  3. The demand for a college-educated work force has outpaced the number of students who go on to complete some form of postsecondary education.

“It’s important the community knows where we are at,” said Raimondi, a former Hewlett-Packard executive. “I’ve found that what you measure, gets done.”

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In one sobering finding, only 29 percent of 2007 high school graduates had obtained a postsecondary degree within six years. This represents a slight increase from the class of 2005’s 25 percent rate.

“Everybody took a big gulp when we saw that,” Raimondi said.

In another glaringly low number, more than half of the children who enter kindergarten score at or below benchmarks in reading — a number that did not improve from 2012 to 2013.

Raimondi suspects three causes for these low numbers:

  1. The Treasure Valley has a high number of students entering school who speak little or no English.
  2. Idaho has a significant percentage of students living in poverty.
  3. Early childhood education has not been a priority at the state level.

TVEP has formed working groups of community members, leaders and educators devoted to finding and implementing solutions. These groups are first “establishing credibility” and gathering members and strength before they start making more aggressive plans, Raimondi said.

One work group is devoted to making sure every child is prepared for school. Another will focus on supporting each child, inside and outside school.

“By tackling our education challenges with a common goal and set of indicators, we’re able to do more,” he said.

TVEP RESULTS

Fall kindergarten Idaho Reading Indicator, percentage of students who score at or above benchmark:

2012: 58 percent
2013: 58 percent

Percentage of third-graders who scored advanced on the math ISAT:

2012: 62 percent
2013: 60 percent

Percentage of third-graders who scored advanced on the ISAT in reading:

2012: 51 percent
2013: 53 percent

Percentage of eighth-graders who scored advanced on the math ISAT:

2012: 37 percent
2013: 32 percent

Percentage of eighth-graders who scored advanced on the ISAT in reading:

2012: 59 percent
2013: 60 percent

Percentage of 11th-graders who scored at or above 500 on the math SAT:

2012: 38 percent
2014: 38 percent

Percentage of 11th-graders who scored at or above 500 on the SAT in writing:

2012: 36 percent
2014: 27 percent

Percentage of 11th-graders who scored at or above 500 on the SAT in reading:

2012: 38 percent
2014: 40 percent

Percentage of high school graduates who enter postsecondary education within two years of high school graduation:

Class of 2010: 64 percent
Class of 2011: 67 percent

Percentage of college freshmen who return for their sophomore year:

Class of 2010: 78 percent
Class of 2011: 77 percent

Percentage of high school graduates who obtain a degree within six years:

Class of 2005: 25 percent
Class of 2007: 29 percent

Read more about the Treasure Valley Education Partnerships, including its goals, objectives and mission. See more metrics, including demographics and methodology.