- Associated Press - Sunday, August 28, 2016

NAMPA, Idaho (AP) - Math curriculum are getting changes in parts of the state as schools look to better prepare teenagers for first-year college courses.

Average SAT scores in math and reading and writing were slightly better than the rest of the country, but students in southwestern Idaho struggled, the Idaho Press-Tribune reported (https://bit.ly/2bRNZea ).

Most Canyon County students were not ready for college, according to SAT test data. The Caldwell school district had 16 percent and Nampa school district had 24 percent of students scoring high enough to qualify as ready for college last year.

“There are no excuses,” said Jodie Mills, the Caldwell school district’s director of federal programs. “We need to do a better job of preparing our students to be ready to take the test and understanding the test.”

Both are using test data to improve math curriculum.

“I don’t think we’re any different from districts around us,” said Nicole MacTavish, assistant superintendent for the Nampa school district. “We are all worried about our math scores.”

The district has been working on improving language arts curriculum for two years, MacTavish said. More than half of the students tested in reading and writing met college standards.

“Mathematics is an area where we haven’t grown as fast as we have in English Language Arts, but we also haven’t put the time or resources or professional development into mathematics at this point - (compared to what) we have (done) in English Language Arts, because we were doing a curriculum adoption for English Language Arts,” MacTavish said.

Students need SAT scores of at least 510 in math and 480 on reading and writing to reach the College Board’s benchmark for college readiness. Those students have a 75 percent chance of earning no less than C’s in those freshman-level classes.

The Idaho State Board of Education released the results this summer.

“Overall, this is a positive for Idaho and the work being done in our schools,” said board executive director Matt Freeman in the news release. “As we review the data, it shows that we have more work to do, particularly in math, but we are trending in the right direction.”


Information from: Idaho Press-Tribune, https://www.idahopress.com

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