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Idaho finishes near the bottom on annual Education Week report

Idaho earned a D-plus and finished 48th among 50 states and the District of Columbia on Education Week’s annual grading of states in K-12 education, according to Idaho EdNews.

In the Quality Counts 2016 report released Jan. 8, Education Week focused on school accountability. This is the 20th annual Quality Counts report.

A state’s overall grade is the average of its scores in three separate categories — chance for success, school finance and achievement.

Idaho scored 67.9 out of 100 points, earning the D-plus. The nation as a whole earned a C grade. Idaho earned a C in the chance-for-success category, ranking 34th. In school finance, Idaho received an F, ranking 49th, while in K-12 achievement, Idaho finished 31st.

Massachusetts earned the top marks this year with a score of 86.8 and the only B-plus awarded. At the other end of the grading scale, Nevada ranked last, with a grade of D and a score of 65.2. Thirty-two states earned grades somewhere between a C-minus and a C-plus.

Quality Counts 2016 also examined how new state and federal strategies are transforming the assessment of school performance.

The Education Week Research Center conducted an analysis of student achievement and the report highlights results from 2003 to 2015. It examines achievement, poverty-based gaps and trends over time.



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  1. bill@cmgsolutions.net

    So really what does this mean? Has anyone analyzed this report? (Don’t just believe everything you read or take it at face value.) We received an F in Finance, but the metrics do not make any sense. For the love of pete, someone please explain this section to me!!!

    In the K-12 Achievement section, what is “national school lunch Program noneligible minus eligible 2015” and what in the blazes does IT mean? While no state looks good in this article (C average), in the Achievement section, we scored better than California, Arizona, Nevada & Oregon (and New York) in math and reading proficiency, but below Utah & Washington.

    Regarding the Chances for Success, 31% of the grade is based upon who the parents are and what they do for a living. Does this matter? Yes, I suppose, to some degree. But is it a reflection of the quality of schools? No! (It shows who might have a golden spoon, though!) In this report, Idaho shows 84% of students that graduate with a diploma versus 86% in Massachusetts (the overall “winner”), and above the national average of 81%. In the category of Full time, year round employment, we are at 70.7%, versus 70.1% for Mass, 69.7% for Wash, 65% or Oregon, and 67% for California. (My household is 50%…by choice!)

    Again, someone please explain the Finance page (The McLoone index-“Actual spending as percent of amount needed to bring all students to median level.” – huh?). One thing that does pop out here, though…NY spends the most per pupil ($17,200) as compared with $8100 for Idaho, yet only graduates 78% versus Idaho’s 84%. Idaho is a RURAL state!. Our TOTAL population is 1.6 million, yet we spend over 62% of our total state budget for education. When it comes to income, Idaho runs a skinny budget, no doubt. But these are numbers that we have to live with. We are a sparsely populated state with incomes below national averages, so for this, we FAIL?

    Finally, much is always made of our “go-on” rate. We rank #46 nationally. This number is based on those that go DIRECTLY to post secondary from high school. It’s no secret that we have a very high percentage of kids that serve a mormon mission after HS, and this number DOES NOT take this into consideration.

    I’m not saying we can’t improve, and there are weak areas, but any study, poll, etc., can manipulate numbers to say anything. This is nothing new. In this study we seem to fall below in areas that just don’t make a whole lot of sense…are we really as bad as this indicates? And I don’t think duplicating California and New York is the best way to go, either.

  2. This is sad, very sad. And while many, myself included, would like to blame various individuals, this will not solve the problem. I am not in favour of simply throwing money at the problem. We need to revamp the entire educational system. I propose a unified system, such as New York or California, at earlier levels. This would essentially combine all school districts into one for purposes of administration and purchasing. In purchasing, the unified district could command greater discounts because of its size. In administration, we would eliminate a lot of middle management, the savings of which I would pour right back into the system. We would also ensure a more consistent education and the availability of internet education, as a result of larger purchasing power, which would benefit the more rural areas. I realize that elimination of middle management may anger some and I do apologize for that. Yet, we must do something to enhance the employment opportunities of our youth. In conclusion, and regardless of political persuasion, we all want the best for Idaho youth. Larry Sirhall