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School & District Management

Idaho Earns a D-Plus on State Report Card, Ranks 45th in Nation

January 17, 2018 | Updated: September 05, 2018 2 min read
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The 22nd annual edition of Quality Counts continues Education Week’s long-standing tradition of grading the states on their performance. A state’s overall grade is the average of its scores on the three separate indices tracked by the report.

State Overview

This year, Idaho finishes 45th among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, with an overall score of 68.8 out of 100 points and a grade of D-plus. The nation as a whole posts a grade of C.

Diving into the findings for the three graded indices, Idaho earns a C in the Chance-for-Success category and ranks 36th. The average state earns a C-plus. In School Finance, Idaho receives a D-minus and ranks 49th. For the K-12 Achievement Index, it finishes 24th with a grade of C-minus. The average state earns grades of C in School Finance and K-12 Achievement. More details on results in these categories are reported below.

Chance for Success

The Education Week Research Center developed the Chance-for-Success Index to better understand the role that education plays in promoting positive outcomes across an individual’s lifetime. Based on an original state-by-state analysis, this index combines information from 13 indicators that span a person’s life from cradle to career. Those indicators fall into three sub-sections: early foundations, school years, and adult outcomes.

For early foundations, which examines factors that help children get off to a good start, Idaho earns a grade of B and ranks 25th. The average state posts a B-minus.

Idaho receives a C-minus for the school years, a sub-category focusing on metrics related to pre-K enrollment through postsecondary participation. It finishes 42nd in the nation in this area. By comparison, the nation as a whole earns a C-plus.

In the area of adult outcomes, based on postsecondary educational attainment and workforce indicators, Idaho’s grade is a C. It ranks 44th in the nation. The national average is a C-plus.

School Finance

The school finance analysis examines two critical aspects of school spending. Of the eight indicators in this category, four assess school spending patterns, while the remaining metrics gauge equity in the distribution of funding across the districts within each state.

Across the spending indicators, Idaho finishes with an F compared with a national average of D-minus. Idaho ranks 49th in the nation in this area.

On the equity measures, Idaho receives a C-plus, which places it 47th in the national rankings. The nation as a whole earns a B.

K-12 Achievement

The K-12 Achievement Index examines 18 distinct achievement measures related to reading and math performance, high school graduation rates, and the results of Advanced Placement exams. The index assigns equal weight to current levels of performance and changes over time. It also places an emphasis on equity, by examining both poverty-based achievement gaps and progress in closing those gaps.

Indicators in the index can be broken down into three sub-categories: status, change, and equity.

Measures in the status sub-category evaluate a state’s current performance. Idaho receives a D-plus in this area and ranks 27th in the nation. The average state earns a D-plus.

The change sub-category examines a state’s improvement over time. In this area, Idaho posts a D-plus and ranks 19th. The national average is a C-minus.

In the equity sub-section, states are graded based on achievement gaps between low-income students and their more affluent peers. Idaho’s grade on those poverty-gap measures stands at a B. Nationally, it ranks 17th in this area. The nation as a whole receives a B.

View more 2018 reports on states and the nation

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In March 2024, Education Week announced the end of the Quality Counts report after 25 years of serving as a comprehensive K-12 education scorecard. In response to new challenges and a shifting landscape, we are refocusing our efforts on research and analysis to better serve the K-12 community. For more information, please go here for the full context or learn more about the EdWeek Research Center.

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