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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

State Ed Board votes to drop ISAT passage as a high school graduation requirement

Idaho high school students haven’t been required to pass the ISAT, the Idaho Standards Achievement Test, to graduate from high school for the past two years, and the state Board of Education decided today they shouldn’t have to pass it this year, either, or in the future. The test still will be given as before – federal requirements call for testing in grades 3-8 plus once in high school – but passage won’t be a graduation requirement. “We’ll still administer it in the 10th grade as we do right now,” said Blake Youde, board spokesman.

“Basing high school graduation on the outcome of a singular test was a concern among board members,” Youde said. He noted that other graduation requirements will remain in place, including minimum credits for various subjects and a senior project.

The state board today considered and approved 24 rule changes and one board policy, in time to meet a deadline for submitting rules to the 2017 Legislature for approval. All had gone through public comment periods; the rules covered everything from bullying to the state’s new accountability system, which is replacing the previous “five-star” rating system for schools, to details of the state’s new early-literacy initiative.

Idaho EdNews reports that state schools Superintendent Sherri Ybarra noted that the state is still tweaking the newest version of the ISAT test, which was launched in 2015 and tailored after the new Idaho Core Standards for student learning. She said parents are uneasy about seeing their child’s graduation tied to a single test. You can read EdNews’ full report here.

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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