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Idaho gets clearance to start new tests next year, replace ISAT

Idaho’s gotten clearance from the country’s top education official to start field-testing its new high-stakes tests for students next year, and stop administering the Idaho Standards Achievement Test to avoid double-testing kids, except in cases where a student needs to take the ISAT to meet a graduate requirement, Idaho Education News reports. State schools Superintendent Tom Luna told Idaho EdNews, “This is just one more step as we transition to higher standards and new assessments. Under current law, it appears we have to give two tests to every student next year, and we’ve made it clear we’re not giving two – we’re giving one – because of student fatigue a number of other factors.”

The new tests developed through the Smarter Balanced Assessments Consortium, are aimed at moving beyond multiple-choice questions to focus on fluency in a subject and critical thinking skills. This year, about 120 Idaho schools piloted the new tests. You can read Idaho EdNews’ full report here.


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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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