local weather Click for Sun Valley, Idaho Forecast
 front page
 last week
 express jobs
 about us
 advertising info

 sun valley guide
 real estate guide
 sv catalogs



Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
208.726.8060 Voice
208.726.2329 Fax

Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

For the week of Nov 27 - Dec 3, 2002


Good report card

Local children and good schools are two of the things that top our list of things for which to be thankful this week.

The students in Blaine County School District 61 brought a good report card home. We’re proud of them and the strong performances they’re turning in.

The new statewide school report card shows Idaho schools performing above the national average in reading and math—despite serious funding challenges.

Grade by 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.

For the 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.

Testing 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.

Also, 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.

Testing 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.

The report card lets everyone see where Blaine County students are doing well. It’s also helpful to see where they can do better.

Blaine 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 improvement.

More good news: Blaine County students’ reading and math scores equal or exceed state averages over three years.

The 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 state average.

The good report card is a reason for hope and thanksgiving. Parents, teachers, students, and school patrons should be proud.



Mountain Jobs

Formula Sports

Idaho Conservation League



Edmark GM Superstore : Nampa, Idaho

Premier Resorts Sun Valley

High Country Property Rentals

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.