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Idaho schools ranked from best to worst

February 27, 2023

By Carly Flandro

A quality education can be tricky to quantify, but the State Department of Education has done just that — ranking Idaho’s schools from best to worst. The data provided tells many stories about Idaho schools — purportedly, where the best and worst schools are. The latest ranking also highlights the most notable gains and slides since 2018. And it shows a stark difference among Idaho’s top and bottom schools.

The data that’s missing tells a story too — like geographical, socioeconomic, demographic, and social factors that aren’t accounted for, and that perhaps help drive the divide between the top schools and the bottom.

In Idaho, where the constitution mandates the Legislature “establish and maintain a general, uniform, and thorough system of public, free common schools”, the rankings list counters that ideal with reality: inequity seems to persist in public education.

The first-ever rankings list was created in 2018 when the federal government required states to identify the lowest-performing schools. The idea was that, once identified, the State Department could help lift those struggling schools by providing additional funding and support.

But the rankings lists, meant to be compiled every three years, were pushed back in 2020-2021 due to the pandemic. The newest rankings are from the 2021-2022 school year and were just released.

The State Department’s explanation of the federal school data requirements and how it meets them is complex — it’s a 99-page PDF.

In the overall rankings list, schools are not sorted by their enrollment, grades served, type (charter vs. traditional), or any other differentiating factor. They are all tossed in the mix and measured up.

More than 600 schools are ranked. More than 100 were left out of the tally for a number of reasons, such as: the school’s enrollment was too low; the school didn’t serve the grade levels measured; or the school is new.

Here is how Boundary County School District 101 schools fared:

Mt. Hall Elementary 68 +13 149 +118
Naples Elementary 34 -17 458 -155
Valley View Elementary 48 -3 318 -15
Boundary County Middle School 53 0 274 +13
Bonners Ferry High School 36 +3 440 +31

For full list of ranked schools, click here.

Questions or Comments? Send us an email!

Mike Weland, Publisher

6931 Main St.
6619 Kaniksu St., Rm 19
Bonners Ferry, ID 83805
(208) 295-1016

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