BOISE – The State Department of Education’s revamped K-12 Report Card caught the eye of the national Data Quality Campaign (DQC), which reviewed all state report cards for its newly released “Show Me the Data” report.
DQC spotlighted Idaho as one of three states with report cards that “stood out for making considerable progress since our last review.” The group singled out Idaho for making its new Report Card easier to navigate, and for offering Spanish translations and performance data from new subgroups, including students in military families, foster care and homelessness.
“It’s great to get national recognition for my accountability team’s efforts, especially since we are recognized for achieving our top priority: a system that’s easy to use and meaningful for parents, educators and the community,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra said. “More improvements are already in the works, both in terms of content and ease of use.”
The new Report Card debuted in December after nine months of intensive work and will be updated with refinements and new test results every August. It has an easy to remember online address: idahoschools.org.
One improvement coming this August is the addition of results from new statewide parent and staff engagement surveys, which will be distributed by school districts later this month. A student engagement survey, launched last year for grades 3-8 and already represented on the Report Card, will be expanded to include high school students.
Other planned enhancements include the ability to sort results by legislative district and county, said Director of Assessment and Accountability Karlynn Laraway.
“We want to continue to improve this tool as a place to drive conversation in local communities,” Laraway said. “Schools can demonstrate their priorities and progress, and parents can learn much more about how their child and their school are performing.”
The new report card is a portal into the results of Idaho’s new state accountability plan, approved by the U.S. Department of Education a year ago. The plan identifies schools that are underperforming so the State Department of Education can partner with local school leadership teams to identify specific supports and plans for improvement. The plan also celebrates schools’ successes and provides educators additional tools for measuring growth.
Part of the state’s new accountability system, the site provides information about multiple student performance indicators, offering context in addition to the data on topics such as teacher retention and whether students are meeting grade-level expectations. Users can easily navigate the site for assessment results and a wide range of other information including school demographic information, workforce, enrollment and student engagement.
The Data Quality Campaign, which bills itself as “the nation’s leading voice on education data policy and use,” has been tracking state report cards throughout the United States.