The percentage of Idaho juniors who achieved both benchmark scores on the SAT — a measure of college and career readiness — slipped for the second year in a row, according to data released Tuesday by the Department of Health. state of education.
In 2022, 28.3% of juniors met both SAT benchmarks (for math and evidence-based reading and writing) – 0.8% lower than in 2021 and 3.7% fewer than in 2020. Even amid pandemic-related school closures in 2020, 90% of juniors in Idaho still took the SAT.
Mathematics benchmark percentages have also dropped over the past two years. This year, 30.5% of students reached the benchmark, 0.7% less than in 2021 and 2.5% less than in 2020.
Benchmark percentages for evidence-based reading and writing showed a 0.1% increase from 2021. Scores for the past two years, however, were both more than 4% lower than the 58% of students who reached the benchmark in 2020.
The SDE called the new SAT scores “stable” from the previous year in a news release Tuesday.
Sherri Ybarra, Superintendent of Public Instruction, pointed out that many students are no longer required — by the state or by their university — to take college entrance exams.
“We’ve known for some time that many students in Idaho don’t prepare for the SAT because it’s not essential to their post-high school plans,” Ybarra said. “And the priority given to the test has declined further in recent years, as universities in Idaho and elsewhere have stopped requiring college entrance exams, and the State Board of Education has abandoned the exams. as a condition of graduation this year.”
How Idaho Schools and Districts Fared
There were some positives in the SDE report. Couer d’Alene Charter Academy had the highest rate in the state, just as it did in 2021, with nearly 90% of its students meeting both criteria. The following schools also had particularly high percentages of students who met both benchmarks:
- Renaissance High (West Ada) 77%
- North Idaho Rod Charter >76%
- Meridian technology. charter 68%
- Meridian Medical Arts Charter 67%
Of all Idaho districts and charter schools with at least 20 participating students, only 11 had 50% or more of their students meeting both criteria.
Here are the percentages of juniors achieving both the English and math benchmark scores for some major districts:
- Wood: 41.5%
- Bonneville: 30.5%
- Calwell: 11.3%
- Cassia County: 21.8%
- Coeur d’Alene: 34.2%
- Emmet: 27.8%
- Idaho Falls: 26.5%
- Jefferson County: 30.6%
- Jerome: 9.9%
- Kuna: 19.5%
- Lakeland: 29.1%
- Lewiston: 24.8%
- Madison: 32.8%
- Middleton: 31%
- Moscow: 49.7%
- Nampa: 17.3%
- Oneida County: 28.6%
- Pocatello-Chubbuck: 32%
- After the falls: 30.7%
- Twin falls: 24.9%
- Vallivue: 20.3%
- West Ada: 40.4%
The college council sets benchmarks “to help students and educators assess student progress toward college readiness from year to year.” According to its website, students who meet or exceed the benchmarks have a 75% chance of earning at least a C in a variety of first-semester general education college courses. He also notes that “sstudents scoring below the SAT benchmarks can still succeed in college, especially with extra preparation and perseverance.
Education officials have questioned the validity of college entrance exams, especially since the start of the pandemic.
Idaho Education News filed a public records request for 2022 SAT data, but SDE provided only partial information on Tuesday; raw SAT scores have not been released. EdNews has requested this data and will report on it as it becomes available.
Idaho Education News data analyst Randy Schrader contributed to this report.
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