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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Idaho

Most area students meeting ISAT goals

At least half of all students in Kootenai County met expectations for academic growth compared with last year, according to figures released Tuesday by the state Board of Education.

The Idaho Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) has two required components: a fall test, which measures how each individual student’s academic ability has developed since the previous fall; and a spring test, which measures whether students have performed up to their grade level.

Using two ways of measurement – growth and proficiency – is important, said Luci Willits, spokeswoman for the state board.

“It really gives us a more complete picture of student achievement,” Willits said. She added that not all states test their students twice a year; only the proficiency testing is required by the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

“Obviously we’d like to see 100 percent of students make their growth target,” Willits said, “but testing experts say anything above 50 percent is laudable.”

Willits also noted that even if students don’t meet their growth targets, that doesn’t mean they’re not growing.

The ISAT tests students on reading, language usage and mathematics.

Officials at all three of the Kootenai County districts said teachers and principals can use this data to identify strengths and weaknesses in the subject areas. They will use these scores to guide the focus of teaching for the rest of the year.

Fine-tuning curriculums, said Lakeland Assistant Superintendent Ron Schmidt, “is an ongoing process.”

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