Student Testing Improves Teachers' Methods


By Jay Michaels

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) This month, students across our area are taking the Idaho Standards Achievement Test better known as I-SATs. As local teachers point out, they're getting students ready for the rest of their lives.

Here in Twin Falls, I-SAT test results help show which groups of students aren't doing well so teachers can improve their methods.

Students from 3rd through 10th grades take I-SATs every year. The Twin Falls School District has been using the test for eight years now.

Superintendent Wiley Dobbs says, “We know that our kids have to take important tests, whether it's the SAT as they're getting as they're getting ready for college, or the I-SATs. Or in two years, when it's changed over to the Smarter Balanced Assessments, that we'll be part of the new Idaho Common Core.”

The State of Idaho considers Twin Falls a high achieving school district. It's received several awards for both the teachers and students.

Dobbs says, “It's kind of like wrestling. You can practice wrestling all the time and not get better. You have to put your skills up against someone to see where you're doing well, where you're doing not so well. And create some goals to improve.”

Superintendent Dobbs points out that teachers use the test results to improve their students' learning. He indicates the district doesn't rest on its laurels, but keeps looking for ways to improve.

Dobbs says, “It does make a difference to us. If they do well, great. We get validated for the things we're doing. If there are groups of kids or segments of our population that aren't doing well, we want to know that, too, so we can get better.”

Students are tested on reading, language usage, and mathematics.

Apr. 16, 2013.

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