The Idaho State Board of Education voted on Wednesday to waive two requirements regarding the Idaho Standards Achievement Test (ISAT). The first waiver removes the requirement that the high school class of 2018 score proficient or advanced on the ISAT to be eligible for high school graduation. The second waiver removes the requirement that the ISAT be administered to 9th grade students during the 2015-16 school year, making it optional for school districts to administer the test.
The current Idaho Standards Achievement Test is the Smarter Balanced Assessment.
Currently, Idaho high school students must score proficient or advanced on the 10th grade version of the ISAT. The class of 2018 is scheduled to take the test this spring as 10th graders. Students scoring below proficient can re-take the test or complete alternate requirements to prove they have mastered Idaho’s math and English standards for high school graduates.
This is different than in most states where students will just take the assessment in grades 3-8 and then again in 11th grade.
The move came after Idaho students performed poorly on the assessment during the 2014-2015 school year and public opinion began to tank.
The Board voted to waive the proficiency requirement for high school graduation they say because of the relative newness. Students will still need to take the 10th grade ISAT test for Idaho to comply with No Child Left Behind. The high school graduating class of 2018 is the second consecutive class to have the ISAT proficiency score waived as a graduation requirement during the implementation of the new assessment.
Apparently the State Board of Education saw disaster looming ahead if they didn’t offer these waivers.