"How fast can we get there?"
Set timelines and milestones.

Recommended Goals for a Transformational Education Agenda for the State of Idaho


Idaho is a global leader, providing high quality, cost effective education to its citizens.


Idaho’s public education system is accountable for the necessary leadership, resources, capacity, and instruction to guarantee high achievement for all students.

Slogan: How Far Can We Go?

“How far can we go?” Let’s aim high!
“How fast can we get there?” Set timelines and milestones.
“How will we define success?” Determine performance indicators.


These are overarching, broad goals accompanied by examples of performance indicators for benchmarking the success of short-term or long-term goals.
Goal 1: Transparent Accountability
Idaho will increase the level of public confidence in the education system through the use of performance-based assessments, accountability and measurement, transparent data, and a continuous improvement process.
Performance Indicators:  
Goal 2: High Standards
Idaho will have high student achievement standard
Performance Indicators:  
Goal 3: Postsecondary Credit in High School
Idaho will increase secondary students’ participation in advanced opportunity programs for postsecondary credits: AP courses, dual credit, Tech-Prep (professional-technical 2+2 programs), and others.
Performance Indicators:  
Goal 4: Postsecondary: Preparation, Participation, Completion
Idaho will have a high percentage of students go on to and successfully complete postsecondary education.
Performance Indicators:  

1 – State Department of Education; 2 – State Division of Professional Technical Education; 3 – State Board of Education; 4 – Idaho PTA; 5 – Idaho Association of School Administrators; 6 – Idaho School Boards Association


Achieve, Inc.:
A bipartisan, independent, non-profit education reform organization based in Washington, D.C. and founded by the nation’s governors and corporate leaders. Achieve, Inc. is devoted to helping states raise academic standards and graduation requirements, improve assessments, and strengthen accountability.
Advanced Placement:
A college level course taught in the high school context using a standardized course syllabus aligned with the College Board Advanced Placement test for that course.
Data audit:
A data audit is a fact-finding exercise carried out to identify what data an institution or organization holds, as well as how it is collected, processed, used, and stored.
Dual credit/enrollment:
An organized system with special guidelines that allows high school students to take college-level courses. Dual credit, also called dual enrollment, courses are considered advantageous to students who want to get a head start on their college careers. In some cases, the student may be able to attain an Associate of Arts or equivalent degree shortly before or after one's high school graduation.
Defined by the National Center for Education Statistics Common Core of Data (CCD) as those students who were enrolled in school at some time during the previous school year; were not enrolled at the beginning of the current school year; have not graduated from high school or completed a state- or district-approved educational program; and do not meet any of the following exclusionary conditions: transfer to another public school district, private school, or state- or district-approved education program; temporary absence due to suspension or school-approved education program; or death. (Source: NCES, http://nces.ed.gov/Pubs2003/100_largest/meth_def.asp)
Dropout rates:
According to the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) (2009), “the status dropout rate represents the percentage of 16- through 24-year-olds who are not enrolled in school and have not earned a high school credential (either a diploma or equivalency credential, such as a General Educational Development [GED] certificate). NCES reports that a number of concerns have been raised in recent years about the definition and enumeration of dropouts and graduates nationwide; states and localities have varying ways of monitoring the educational progress of their students, including different ways of counting who is a dropout. (For example, GED recipients or other alternative completers such as certificate of attendance holders are sometimes considered dropouts, completers, or graduates.) National sources of information also have different definitions and source data for detailing dropout patterns. These differences in populations and definitions can lead to differences in reported rates and thus to different conclusions about dropout patterns.
End-of-course Exams:
Assessments given at the completion of instruction of the course level expectations. End-of-course exams are used to measure student achievement and progress toward postsecondary readiness, identify students’ strengths and weaknesses, meet state and national accountability requirements, communicate expectations, and evaluate programs.
Highly Qualified Teachers:
Research shows that if students have teachers with effective instructional practices, there is a much higher likelihood that student achievement goals will be met. Characteristics of Effective Teachers (excerpted from EdTrust.org):
  • The teacher is continuously learning to improve practice.
  • The teacher has content knowledge. The teacher demonstrates mastery of the subject being taught.
  • The teacher deeply believes in and demonstrates through words and actions, the worth and value of each student. The teacher demonstrates through words and actions the belief that all students can succeed.
  • The teacher understands student needs and uses classroom practices that meet those needs. Instructional techniques focus on higher-order thinking skills. The teacher continually assesses students and adjusts classroom practice to enhance student learning.
  • The teacher is able to manage the learning environment. The teacher positively motivates students and maintains a safe and productive classroom environment.
Idaho Education Network:
A system of statewide, high-speed, education-related internet connectivity to provide education stakeholders, especially teachers and students, with reliable and high-speed access to networked tools to improve their ability to communicate and learn in a more collaborative environment.
Idaho Public Education System:
A “system” is defined as a regularly interacting and interdependent group of bodies unified as a whole. For Idaho, the State Board of Education, the State Department of Education, all public K-12 and higher education institutions are the bodies that comprise the Idaho public education system.  Also interacting with the system are all “public” stakeholders in Idaho – communities, students, families, taxpayers, policymakers, employers, and related educational organizations.
Longitudinal Data System:
A data system that can track student information over multiple years and in multiple schools. Data from this longitudinal system is used to manage, analyze, and disaggregate information for the purpose of improving educational decision-making.
Measuring Up Report:
  A national report card for higher education and fifty state report cards. Its purpose is to provide the public and policymakers with information to assess and improve postsecondary education in each state. The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education publishes the biennial Measuring Up Report, which includes state data categorized in the areas of Preparation, Participation, Affordability, Completion, and Benefits.
Acronym for National Center for Higher Education Management Systems
Performance Assessment:
Systematic and direct observation of a student performance or examples of student performances and ranking according to pre-established performance criteria. Students are assessed on the result as well as the process engaged in a complex task or creation of a product.
Performance Indicators:
A performance indicator defines the measurement of a piece of important and useful information about the performance of a program expressed as a percentage, index, rate, or other comparison which is monitored at regular intervals and is compared to one or more criterion.
Postsecondary Degree or Certificate:
A proof of completion for a prescribed course of study from an accredited higher education institution, including a one- or two-year certificate, associate’s degree, baccalaureate degree, masters degree or professional degree.
Acronym for State Board of Education
Acronym for State Department of Education
Tech-Prep (2+2 programs):
A nationwide career development system offered in Idaho through the State Division of Professional Technical Education. Tech-Prep programs provide a high school student with an organized program of study that incorporates academic and career-related courses. Tech-Prep programs combine two years of high school courses and two years of college leading to an associate’s degree or certificate.
Transparent Accountability and Data:
The practice of regularly and openly conveying information to the public about the mission and goals, activities, accomplishments and decision-making processes of Idaho’s education system. The intent of being transparent and accountable is to make information about education in the state easily accessible to all stakeholders and to create external visibility, public understanding, trust, and confidence in Idaho’s education system.
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