The Idaho State Board of Education unanimously approved a plan by Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra to temporarily rescind standardized testing requirements for 9th grade students and the graduation requirement for 10th grade students.
"It's too premature for the (10th grade) test to be used as a graduation requirement," Ybarra told the Board during an Oct. 21 meeting on the campus of Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston. Ybarra said the first official round of testing conducted this spring indicated only 30 percent of students were proficient in math, and only 60 percent showed proficiency in English. Ybarra said representatives from several school districts across Idaho told her the required testing was "not beneficial" and was "unrealistic." Additionally, Ybarra told the board she wanted to begin making 9th grade testing optional.
“It was clear that we needed to take a step back and provide some relief for local school districts,” said Ybarra.
Following some discussion, the state board agreed to Ybarra's recommendations, making the 9th grade testing optional and removing the 10th grade testing graduation requirement. Both waivers will be in effect for the upcoming 2016 assessment.
“I was happy to see these waivers passed by the board," wrote Ybarra in a prepared statement following the board meeting. "This action supports what school districts were asking for and is reflective of our collaborative process, and I commend the state board for their support.”