Data Overview

School Selection

The schools that the portal covers were determined by using three separate sources of schools and decisions were based on data availability. The three sources were: (1) a list of school codes from the Idaho State Department of Education (SDE); (2) the school enrollment data from the Idaho SDE enrollment figures; and (3) the Idaho Accountability Report Card. Schools appearing in all three data sources were automatically included in the portal. Those in only one source were not included.

The schools that appeared in two sources were included if there were any available data points on the school level for that organization. The schools that were only in two sources but were included in the portal are: Boise Evening School, St. Maries Community Education Center (Alternative), Priest River Educational Program, Teton Peaks Academy BHC (Alternative), Northside Junior-Senior High, New Vision Alternative, Salmon Alternative, Central Alternative, Madison Academy, Tammany Alternative Learning Center, American Falls (Alternative) Academy, Basin Junior-Senior High (Alternative), Heartland High (Alternative), Midvale Alternative School, Telford Intermediate School, Jefferson Alternative Junior High, and Shoshone Alternative High. The schools that were in two sources that were not included were Clover Creek High Alternative, Summit Alternative Middle School, Hagerman Valley Learning Center, East Valley Alternative Middle School, Indianhead Academy, Melba Alternative High, Nampa Alternative Night School, South Alternative Middle, and West Alternative Middle.

One school that appeared in all three sources but was not included in the portal is Richard McKenna Alternative Charter. Richard McKenna Charter is included, but the Alternative branch is a summer program and thus was not included.

Charter Schools in Districts

In the data sets that contribute to this portal, there are two types of charter schools: those that stand alone in their own district or local education agency (LEA) and those that are part of a larger district with other schools. Some data sets on the district level report the aggregate for school districts and provide information for those charters that are their own districts. Other data sets also present the data for the charters that are part of a district with multiple schools. Three sources contributed to this distinction: (1) Idaho State Department of Education Financial Summaries, (2) District and Charter Enrollment, and (3) the SDE’s spreadsheet of NCES codes.

After these data sets were examined, it was determined that the portal would include the 32 independent LEA charters and the 14 charter schools that belong to other districts that appeared in the NCES codes.

In order to include as much data as possible, all of the charter schools, including those in districts, were given their own district for representation in the portal. All district-level data points (percentage of students with limited English proficiency, percentage of students matriculating in post-secondary education programs, per pupil expenditure, and district aggregates of school-level data) are reported at the school level when viewing a charter school. In some cases, there are charter schools that are part of large districts where data are not available for the charter school for a particular metric, but are available for the district. If you wish to view the data for the district as a whole, you can navigate to this information by searching for another school in that district.

The charter schools that are members of larger districts are ANSER Charter School in Boise Independent, Meridian Charter High, Meridian Medical Arts Charter, and North Star Charter in Meridian Joint, Pocatello Community Charter in Pocatello, Forrest M. Bird Charter in Lake Pend Oreille, Idaho Arts Charter in Nampa, Thomas Jefferson Charter in Vallivue, Payette River Technical in Emmett Independent, Coeur d’ Alene Charter in Coeur d’ Alene, Moscow Charter in Moscow, Idaho Distance Education Academy in Whitepine Joint, Upper Carmen Charter in Salmon, and ARTEC Charter in Minidoka County Joint.

School Names

School names are drawn from the list of school codes from the Idaho SDE, since this list was the most complete. In a few instances, the name in the enrollment data was used instead. Murtaugh School was split into Murtaugh Elementary, Murtaugh Middle and Murtaugh High in the document from the Idaho SDE. However, because the majority of data sets reported it as a combined school, the Murtaugh School name was used instead of the three separate levels. Rigby High was called Rigby Senior High in the codes document, but Rigby High in enrollment; the school’s website verified that Rigby High is the correct name.

Type

The school types that are available for filtering the scatter plots are a combination of two data points, the school type and the school level. School type consists of three categories: Regular, Alternative and Charter. This information comes from the school codes document, a state department classification of charter schools located in a file called “Enrollment by District and Charter Schools”, the table generator for the National Center for Education Statistics 2012-13, and an Idaho state website that lists virtual schools here. Schools were designated as “Regular” vs. “Alternative” by the school codes document as well as by the information reported by the National Center for Education statistics (available under “Agency Type”). Charter schools were then identified as those listed in the “Charter” section of the “Enrollment by District and Charter Schools” resource. All virtual schools are included as charter schools, and no reportable programs, special education, vocational schools or private schools are included at this time.

Race and Ethnicity Breakdown

All abbreviations and definitions comply with Standard 1-5 of the NCES Statistical Standards, which is in compliance with the definitions and procedures included in the 1997 revision of the OMB Statistical Policy Directive No. 15 and the U.S. Department of Education Final Guidance on Maintaining, Collecting, and Reporting Racial and Ethnic Data to the Department of Education (Federal Register, Vol. 72, No. 202, 10/19/2008).

Race and Ethnicity Abbreviations
  • From Guideline 1-5-4B of the NCES Statistical Standards.
  • American Indian includes Alaska Native
  • Black includes African American
  • Pacific Islander includes Native Hawaiian
  • Hispanic includes Latino
Race and Ethnicity Definitions
  • From Standards 1-5-4 and 1-5-1 of the NCES Statistical Standards
Ethnicity is based on the following categorization:

Hispanic/Latino

A person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race. The term "Spanish origin" can be used in addition to "Hispanic or Latino."
(This category includes individuals of any race who identify as Hispanic or Latino.)

Race is based on the following five categorizations:

American Indian or Alaska Native

A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North and South America (including Central America), and who maintains tribal affiliation or community attachment.
(This category includes only persons who reported American Indian or Alaska Native as their sole race and did not report Hispanic/Latino ethnicity.)

Asian

A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent, including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam.
(This category includes only persons who reported Asian as their sole race and did not report Hispanic/Latino ethnicity.)

Black or African American

A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa. Terms such as "Haitian" or "Negro" can be used in addition to "Black or African American."
(This category includes only persons who reported Black or African American as their sole race and did not report Hispanic/Latino ethnicity.)

Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander

A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands.
(This category includes only persons who reported Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander as their sole race and did not report Hispanic/Latino ethnicity.)

White

A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa.
(This category includes only persons who reported White as their sole race and did not report Hispanic/Latino ethnicity.)

The Two or more races category identifies individuals who report any combination of two or more races and not Hispanic/Latino ethnicity.

Source

School-level race and ethnicity data are from the Idaho State Department of Education from the 2014-15 school year. Schools do not report data for racial or ethnic groups that were comprised of fewer than 10 students.

Student Enrollment

These data are from the Idaho State Department of Education during the 2015-16 school year. The enrollment value is the total of all grades, PK-12, as of 12/21/2016.

Number of Teachers

These data are from the Idaho State Department of Education from the 2015-16 school year. The number of teachers displayed is the Full Time Equivalent of certified staff for each school.

Grade Ranges

The grade ranges represent the lowest and highest grade level for which a school provides instruction. These grades can range from Kindergarten (K) through 12, regardless of whether schools have pre-kindergarten or ungraded students. These grade ranges were reconciled between multiple sources. The State Department of Education publishes grade level enrollment for each school in the state, as well as free/reduced lunch eligibility for each school in the state. From the grade level enrollment, grade ranges were calculated by defining the minimum grade as the lowest grade with more than zero students and the maximum grade as the highest grade number with more than zero students. The free and reduced lunch information contained grade ranges as well. These two sets of grade ranges were compared. In cases where a school’s grade ranges were only represented in one document, or where a school’s grade ranges matched between the two documents, that grade range was accepted as correct. In those where a mismatch existed, school websites were used to identify the minimum and maximum grades covered. If the information was unavailable on the school website, the grade ranges that appeared in the majority of third party sites were used. The schools where grade ranges did not match in various state department documents and that did not have grades visible on their websites were Tendoy Elementary, Elk City Public, Lowman Elementary, Canyon Springs Alternative High, Jefferson Alternative High, The Atlas School, Legacy Charter School, Lincoln Elementary (Caldwell), and New Horizons High (Alternative).

Enrollment by grade and free and reduced lunch information are located in the statistics section of the Idaho SDE’s website. The State Department of Education’s list of school websites can be found here.

Town

The “Town” data points drew from two sources. The first was from the State Department of Education’s Free and Reduced Lunch Data, which are located here. Where this information was not available, data were drawn from the NCES Common Core of Data from 2010-11 in the Elementary/Secondary Information System table generator.

District Go-On Rates

District Go-On Rates are from the National Student Clearinghouse and the Idaho Office of the State Board of Education. These rates are for those graduating from high school in the class of 2015. These numbers count only seniors who graduate from high school (not all seniors). This data takes into account if they have enrolled in postsecondary within 12 months of high school graduation.

Their methodology notes, which can be found along with the aggregate data for Idaho here, read as follows:

The Office of State Board of Education (OSBE) receives student enrollment and graduation numbers from two sources: Idaho public postsecondary institutions and the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC). Idaho public postsecondary institutions submit data directly to OSBE while the NSC reports on enrollment and graduation records from participating schools throughout the country. Students who have opted for private records are not included in this report.

The National Student Clearinghouse includes data from more than 3,300 colleges and universities, enrolling over 96% of all students in public and private U.S. institutions. NSC Degree Verification has over 80% of U.S. four year degrees in its data set.

Students may have been enrolled in multiple postsecondary institutions. However, only one institution is represented for that student. The institution represented is based on the following criteria (in order):

  • First institution attended
  • If simultaneously enrolled, then number of terms attended at the institution determines selection
  • If same number of terms, enrollment level (full-time, part-time, less than part-time)
  • Highest institution ID number

The college-going rate for a district is the percentage of that district's graduates that go on to post-secondary education. This number includes two-year, four-year and less than two-year programs both in-state and outside of Idaho. Analysis of the data for districts with small graduating classes is particularly challenging, since a small change in absolute numbers projects a large change in the associated percentage. For example, if the number of graduates in a district is 10, and 6 of those students go on to college, the district has a true matriculation rate of 60 percent. If the reported number of students going off to college has a margin of error of 1 student, however, the data could claim that anywhere from 5 to 7 students attended college, with a reported rate ranging from 50 to 70 percent. Therefore, reported post-secondary enrollment rates should be considered in context of the district's total population.

To learn more about the National Student Clearinghouse and its methods for collecting this information, go to their website.

The go-on rate reported for the United States is from The United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics and can be found here.

Math Proficiency

The Math Proficiency level represents the percentage of students at a school who tested as “proficient” or “advanced” on the math section of the Idaho Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) in the 2015-16 school year. 2016 is the second year of results from the redesigned ISAT which now aligns to the Idaho Core Standards. The results can be found in the Report Card section of Idaho SDE's website, available here.

Data from previous years refer to the previous version of the ISAT those data are available here.

ELA Proficiency

The ELA Proficiency level represents the percentage of students at a school who tested as “proficient” or “advanced” on the ELA section of the Idaho Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) in the 2015-16 school year. 2016 is the second year of results from the redesigned ISAT which now aligns to the Idaho Core Standards. The results can be found in the Report Card section of Idaho SDE's website, available here.

Data from previous years refer to the previous version of the ISAT those data are available here.

Per-Pupil Expenditure

Per-Pupil Expenditure is equal to the General Fund Expenditures per enrollment. General Fund Expenditures represent spending by districts on an annual operating basis, excluding costs associated with the construction of buildings. Enrollment is calculated as the district’s enrollment on February 15th of the school year.

This per pupil expenditure incorporates purchases facilitated by the federal, local and state resources that comprise the General M&O Fund. This state funding is distributed to public schools according to statute (Title 33, Chapter 10, Idaho Code) and appropriation intent language (special distributions).

Student-Certified Staff Ratio

The certified staff metric is the total number of full-time equivalent certified employees employed by a given school. This number excludes the following administrative positions: Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent, Charter Administrator, Principal (Elementary), Assistant Principal (Elementary), Principal (Secondary) and Assistant Principal (Secondary) from calculations. The data are from the Idaho State Department of Education and they represent employment for the 2015-16 school year.

Enrollment data can be found on the State Department of Education website. The data used for student-certified staff ratio are from the 2015-16 school year.

Student-certified staff ratio is the number of students enrolled divided by the number of certified staff employed.

Limited English Proficiency

Limited English Proficiency Program (LEP) is an appropriation from 1995 to support programs for students with non-English or limited English proficiency. The statewide LEP program states that a student may be considered LEP if they have a home language other than English and test below the proficient level for English language acquisition on a state-approved test. The data are from Idaho State Department of Education at the school level in the 2015-16 school year.

Free and Reduced Lunch Eligibility

Free and Reduced Lunch percentages reflect the proportion of students who are eligible for the federal free or reduced lunch program. The calculations do not include students in pre-kindergarten or kindergarten programs. The data points are from the SDE, available here.

Graduation Rates

These data are from the Idaho State Department of Education from the graduating class of 2015. The graduation rates reflect the four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate. As described by the Idaho state department, a four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate is:

  • The number of students who graduate in four years with a regular high school diploma divided by the number of students who entered high school four year earlier, while adjusting for transfer students, those student who emigrated or are deceased.
More information about graduation rates can be found here.
Local Tax Levies

The data used in the total local tax levies report are from the State Department of Education and are reported for the 2015-16 school year. The data can be found here. The metric displayed in IdahoEdTrends is the amount of the total local tax levies for maintenance and operation authorized by majority vote allowed by Idaho Code 33-802(3) or a budget stabilization levy allowed by Idaho Codes 33-802(2) and 33-802(6).

A detailed history of the role of local tax levies in public school finance from the Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy can be found here. The relevant statutes are located here and here.

Revenue Sources

The revenue source distributions represent the percentage of the General Maintenance and Operations fund that come from state, local, federal and other sources. The 2014-15 Complete Financial Summaries Report contains this information for each district in the Combined Statement of Revenues & Expenditures summaries at the end of the report. It reports fix categories - Taxes, Other Local, State Sources, Federal Sources and Other Sources - but Taxes and Other Local have been combined into Local Sources for the purposes of IdahoEdTrends. The actual values for this funding are reported on a per-ADA basis.

The General fund is defined as the primary operating fund of the school district, and it includes the General Levy, the Supplemental Levy, the Emergency Levy, the Tort Levy, the Cooperative Levy Service and the Special Tuition Levy.

The Idaho Fiscal Report Card defines revenue and the various sources as follows:

Revenue: Revenues are defined in general as: (1) Increases in governmental fund type net current assets without a corresponding increase in liabilities; (2) Increase in proprietary fund type total net assets without a corresponding increase in liabilities. Revenues are classified as other, state or federal sources.

Federal: Revenues received either directly from the Federal Government offices or through the Idaho Department of Education or another state agency. This money generally must be used for specific purposes.

Taxes: Revenue from a tax levy certified against the market valuation of property in the school district (Excludes facilities and levies.)

Other Local: Local source revenues, not including property taxes, such as investment income, cafeteria revenues, student activity revenues, rental receipts, donations and gifts.

Other Sources: Other financing sources for a public school generally include proceeds from long-term debt financing agreements and proceeds from the sale of, or the compensation for the loss of fixed assets.

State: Grants, subsidies, contracts and entitlements received from the Idaho Department of Education and other state agencies. This revenue includes basic instructional and operational subsidies, such as specific educational program subsidies and state reimbursements for school employee benefits. Much of this revenue is based on average daily attendance and legislated distribution formulas.

SAT Scores

The SAT is a globally recognized college entrance exam administered by The College Board. It contains 2 sections - math and evidence-based reading & writing - and is generally taken by students in their junior or senior year of high school. The Idaho Department of Education provides the test free of charge to all students in their junior year as a means of encouraging college-going rates and facilitating the application process. The data presented are from the Department of Education, and they exclude scores from schools with fewer than 10 students tested.

The US average SAT score is reported by The College Board and can be found here.

Idaho Reading Indicator Scores

The Idaho Reading Indicator (IRI) assesses the efficacy of the Idaho Reading Initiative, which was designed to ensure that all children master the skills needed to become successful readers. The assessment identifies which children struggle to read at grade level, in order to help school personnel provide additional support to these readers. Students are tested three times per year - in the fall, winter and spring. IRI scores are reported as the percent of students reading at grade level. The data are from the Idaho Department of Education, and they are disaggregated by grade and testing season. Data are not reported for subgroup populations with 10 or fewer students.