Good report card
children and good schools are two of the things that top our list of
things for which to be thankful this week.
students in Blaine County School District 61 brought a good report card
home. We’re proud of them and the strong performances they’re
statewide school report card shows Idaho schools performing above the
national average in reading and math—despite serious funding
grade, starting with third grade, the State Department of Education’s
web site shows how Idaho students are faring. The web site address is www.sde.state.id.us.
first time, parents and school patrons have a way to rate school
performance. The window on performance is not perfect—student testing
is controversial—but it’s a good start and far better than anything
the public has had before.
is controversial because of the pressure it places on teachers to teach
to standardized reading and math tests. The benefits are debated because
some argue that "real education" is neglected in favor of
teaching to the test.
some schools with poor report cards often have excuses—good ones—for
their problems. For examples, they may host high numbers of students
from poor families or high numbers of non-English-speaking students.
will never be free of controversy, but without it the public is clueless
about school performance and left with no idea of what areas need
improvement. Better to know sooner than later if schools are struggling—before
schools fail ever greater numbers of students.
report card lets everyone see where Blaine County students are doing
well. It’s also helpful to see where they can do better.
County’s graduation rate of 84 percent for the class of 2001 beats the
Idaho average of 77 percent. It also exceeds the local graduation rates
of 69 percent and 68 percent of two previous classes. It is a serious
news: Blaine County students’ reading and math scores equal or exceed
state averages over three years.
scores also show that parents of kids in some grade levels might want to
help local kids hit the books a little harder. Parents and teachers also
will want to work on making sure valley graduation rates don’t drop to
levels seen in 1999 and 2000, when 30 percent of the valley’s high
school seniors did not get a diploma. This was about 7 percent below the
report card is a reason for hope and thanksgiving. Parents, teachers,
students, and school patrons should be proud.