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Highs and lows for Idaho’s ISAT and SAT scores

Early statewide results on tests were released this past week, how did Idahoan students measure up? Scores show growth in students performance in the ISAT, which is given to grades 3rd through 8th and 10th, but a dip in SAT scores, which is the college entrance exam.

“The ISAT number’s improved in nearly every grade level, which is good news,” said Devin Bodkin of Idaho Education News. “But for the SAT it was bad news for most districts across the state.

The Idaho Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) checks to see how students are in English Language Arts/Literacy and Mathematics.

In ELA, scores improved in five of the seven grades. The other two grades score stayed the same. The states overall average improved from 52 percent to 53.7 percent.

In Mathematics, those results also show improvement, with six of the seven grades scores increasing. Fifth grade stayed the same from a year ago. The overall proficiency is up from 4.9 percent to 43.3 percent.

“The scores from 2018 are comparative to 2016 scores because there was a big decrease in 2017,” said Sheryl Gittings, the managing director of the learning center, “Maggie’s Place.” “It’s nice to see not only are we above 2017’s score, but we are back on par with 2016.”

Spring 2018’s SAT scores are somewhat of a different story.

Nearly 20,000 Idahoans students took the college entrance exam in April. In the reading and writing portion, the average score is 503 with 58 percent reaching the benchmark of 480. That is down from 506 and 60 percent of 2017.

Mathematics also saw a slight to decrease in scores. With 33 percent of this spring’s juniors reaching the benchmark of 530. Last year, 34 percent of students were able to get there.

“The drop that they’re talking about,” said Jason Lords, the director of curriculum and learning for Bonneville Joint School District No. 93. “There’s not much really difference statistically when you’re looking at those two numbers, they’re so close. It’s hard to say, oh man we’re worried we’re not doing any better.”

According to the Idaho State Department of Education, the gem state is not alone in the SAT score dip. Other states saw a drop in scores.

State school officials say that “perhaps these juniors regarded the test less seriously.”

Idaho requires that all students take the college entrance exam to graduate from high school.

For more on East Idaho’s school districts SAT scores click HERE.

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