Square root of stupid: K12 Education Task Force proposal making IRI scores all that matters

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Idaho Education news reported last week that Governor Little’s K12 Education Task Force Co-Chair, Bill Gilbert, has a plan to improve Gem State education outcomes: Make the Idaho Reading Indicator (IRI) scores the sole measure used in holding schools and districts “accountable” for student growth.

It’s so simple! Why have we not thought of this before? I mean, what could possibly be wrong with using just a single datapoint in order to judge the quality of a school?

Well, for starters, let’s talk about the test itself. The Idaho Department of Education’s own website cautions against using the test for the very purpose Gilbert outlines stating, “It is important to remember that the IRI is not intended to be a complete diagnostic reading test; rather, the IRI should be used to identify students in a classroom who may have additional needs in the area of reading.”

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