Friday, August 31, 2012


Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna today announced the results of Idaho’s new school accountability system, known as the Five-Star Rating System.

“We have been working toward a new system of increased accountability that focuses on multiple measures, including academic growth, for every child in Idaho for years. Today, we are finally able to begin moving to the Five-Star Rating System, which is a better and more accurate way to evaluate how Idaho schools are performing academically,” Superintendent Luna said. “This is an exciting year because our accountability system is now aligned with our vision to create a 21st Century education system where every student graduates prepared for postsecondary education and the workforce.”

The Idaho State Department of Education and State Board of Education worked closely with parents, educators and community members over the past year to develop this new Five-Star Rating System, including a series of focus groups, meeting with educational stakeholders and a public comment period. 

“The new 5-Star accountability plan will more accurately measure the academic quality of Idaho schools. We are pleased that this system was developed in Idaho, with help from our own educators,” said Ken Edmunds, President of the Idaho State Board of Education. “This is a step in the right direction for Idaho’s K-12 education system.”

Under the Five-Star System, schools with grades K-8 will be measured on academic growth, or how much progress students have made academically, as well as the number of students who reach grade level or higher on the Idaho Standards Achievement Tests (ISAT).

High schools will be measured based on academic growth, the number of students who reach grade level or higher on the ISAT as well as measures of student success in postsecondary education and the workforce. Those measures include a school’s graduation rate, the number of students enrolled in and successfully completing advanced courses, and student scores on college entrance exams. The state currently pays for all students to take the SAT or ACCUPLACER.

All schools, no matter the grade level, also will be measured on participation by demonstrating they have tested at least 95 percent of their students. 

After calculating these measures, each school receives a Star Rating on a scale of one to five, one being the lowest-performing and five being the highest-performing. Unlike AYP, the Star designation is a clear, easy-to-understand and transparent way to let the community, parents, and educators know how their local school is performing academically.

Here is a brief description of each Star Rating:

  • Four-Star and Five-Star Schools will be publicly recognized and celebrated for their excellent performance as top-performing schools across Idaho. These schools will serve as examples to other schools.
  • Three-Star Schools will be recognized as doing a good job for students because most students have met the academic benchmarks set by the state. These schools will be required to develop improvement plans for the few areas in which they still need improvement.
  • One-Star and Two-Star Schools are schools identified for areas of improvement. These schools will develop school improvement plans tied to research-based best practices, and the State Department of Education will focus intense time and resources to provide the support necessary to raise academic achievement and close achievement gaps in these schools.

Previously, under the federal No Child Left Behind law, the state evaluated schools only on a measure known as Adequate Yearly Progress, or AYP, which assessed whether or not the students in a school passed the ISAT. Idaho has applied for a waiver from the U.S. Department of Education to move away from these one-size-fits-all provisions of No Child Left Behind, so the state can use multiple measures in evaluating a school’s performance. The Idaho State Board of Education approved Idaho’s waiver application in February.

Because the state has not yet received final approval on its waiver, the Idaho State Department of Education is releasing the AYP results for the 2011-2012 school year and the preliminary results for the new Five-Star Rating System at the same time today.

Results of Idaho’s new Five-Star Rating System:

More than half of Idaho’s schools – 379 schools – were rated as Four-Star and Five-Star Schools. Under the new system, 170 Idaho schools were rated as Three-Star Schools. Ninety-nine schools statewide were rated as One-Star and Two-Star Schools.

Here is a complete breakdown of the ratings under the new Five-Star Rating System:

Star Rating
Number of Schools
5 Star Schools
4 Star Schools
3 Star Schools
2 Star Schools
1 Star Schools

Total schools

Here are some highlights of the additional measures used in calculating the Star Ratings this year.

·         Last April, 16,561 11th grade students took the statewide SAT this year. The average SAT score was 1351. Full SAT results will be published next week.

·         The Star Ratings also measure the advanced opportunities that students enroll in and complete, including Advanced Placement courses, dual credit courses, and Tech Prep courses. Out of 38,227 eligible 11th and 12th grade students, 15,260, or 39.9 percent took an advanced opportunity course. This is the first year the state has reported statewide data in this area.

To see the full results of the Five-Star Systems or how a specific school performed, please visit

Results for Adequate Yearly Progress, or AYP:

An estimated 60 percent of Idaho schools made AYP this year. Last year, about 62 percent of schools met this academic goal.

To make AYP, a school must meet the student achievement goals – or proficiency targets – set by the Idaho State Board of Education both as an entire school and in 40 additional target areas during a given school year. The target areas include students with disabilities, students with limited English proficiency and students who are economically disadvantaged. The proficiency targets for the 2011-12 school year were 85.6 percent in reading and 83 percent in math, the same as the previous school year.

To see the full AYP results by state, district or school, visit


  1. What will the options be for kids who are in schools rated less than four stars? A three-star-or-less school may be set on track for improvement, but any given student needs a good education, now. How does a student get into a better school?

  2. Hi Briana, Idaho will require 1 and 2 Star Schools to provide eligible students extended learning opportunities and inform eligible students and their parents of their enrollment options. Eligible students are those students who are currently not proficient and who have not made adequate growth on either the Reading or Math sections of the ISAT.Thanks, Melissa

  3. Thank you very much proving us international information about the study
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