Published Online: January 3, 2006

Idaho's State Highlights

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Vital Statistics
Public schools 664
Public school teachers 14,049
Pre-K-12 students 252,120
Annual pre-K-12 expenditures $1.5 billion
Minority students15.9%
Children in poverty20%
Students with disabilities11.4%
English-language learners7.8%

Summary of Grades

Idaho’s performance across the graded policy categories of Quality Counts is quite mixed. The state scores at or above the national average in two areas and far below average in the other two categories.

Idaho fares well in standards and accountability, where it scores just above average and has a strong showing on school accountability indicators. For example, the state sanctions and provides assistance to all low-performing schools.

But Idaho struggles in teacher quality, scoring near the bottom of the nation. The state falters on the teacher-assessment indicators. It does not require teachers to pass basic-skills or subject-specific pedagogy tests for initial licenses. Nor does Idaho require veteran teachers to undergo performance assessments to qualify for a more advanced stage of certification.

The state fares better in school climate. Idaho gains points on the school safety indicators by having policies related to student harassment. But the state loses points on the school choice and autonomy indicators because the strength of its charter school law is not highly-rated by the Center for Education Reform.

Idaho ranks last in the nation for resource equity. The state scores especially poorly on the wealth-neutrality measure, indicating that perpupil funding is considerably higher in its wealthier districts than in its poorer districts.

State Policy Report Card
IdahoAvg. State Score
Standards and accountability B B-
Efforts to improve teacher quality D C+
School climate C+ C+
Resource equity F C
Overall Grade C- C+
Quality Counts Grading Breakdown
Standards and accountability Points awardedPoints possible
Standards 35.83 40
Assessment 21.14 30
School accountability 27 30
84 100
Efforts to improve teacher quality Points awardedPoints possible
Teacher education and qualifications 25.81 35
Teacher assessment 19.5 30
Professional support and training 11 20
Accountability for teacher quality 8.55 15
65 100
School climate Points awardedPoints possible
Engagement 13.17 15
School safety 17.08 20
Parent involvement 11.55 15
Choice and autonomy 15 20
Class size 6.35 10
School size 7.83 10
School facilities 7.5 10
78 100
Resource equity Points awardedPoints possible
Wealth-neutrality score 16.67 33.3
McLoone Index 20.67 33.3
Coefficient of variation 21.67 33.3
59 100
Note: Details may not sum to totals due to rounding.

Vol. 25, Issue 17

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