National and International Assessments
Idaho schools participate in several national and international assessments. These assessments help educators and policy makers understand how students across the country are performing relative to one another and in comparison with their peers in other countries.
NAEP, also known as the "Nation's Report Card," is the only nationally representative and continuing assessment of what America's students know and can do. Its major goals are to measure student achievement and to report change in performance over time. NAEP provides results for the nation and for the states, but does not provide scores for Idaho school districts, schools, classrooms, or individual students.
The Idaho State Board of Education includes NAEP (at grades 4, 8, and 12) in the state testing program because it gives us comparative state and national information about student achievement in reading, mathematics, science, and writing. Even though the U.S. Department of Education pays for and administers NAEP, there is no federal requirement that an individual student complete all or any part of the assessment. However, Idaho administrative law does require that students enrolled in Idaho public schools (and public charter schools) participate in NAEP, if selected, just as they would in the Idaho Standards Achievement Tests (ISAT) or any of the other state mandated assessments.
International Assessments allow us the unique opportunity to compare the performance of students in the United States with the performance of students in other countries. International assessments include Progress in International Reading Literacy (PIRLS), the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), and Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). Idaho schools and students selected for participation represent the United States in these international studies conducted in over 70 countries world- wide.