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Burley teachers say ISAT scores are just one way to judge a child’s progress

“It was hard, last year was really, really hard on all of us, and so a lot of it was maintaining the social and emotional health while trying to do the academics,” said Sage.
Published: Aug. 24, 2021 at 5:33 PM MDT
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BURLEY, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — The latest statewide results for the Idaho Standards Achievement Test or the ISAT’s, show a decline in scores since the last time the test was administered which was in 2019.

According to Burley Junior High School teacher Jennifer Sage, this is just another impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on education.

“2020/2021, oh my gosh, we were having kids quarantined left and right, I had to get quarantine at one point, I did not have COVID but one of my students did, so the education last year, we did our best, we had so many students, it was scary for them,” said Jennifer Sage, an English teacher.

Many students had other things on their minds, a sick relative, a parent who had lost their job due to the pandemic or had trouble adjusting back to the classroom setting.

“It was hard, last year was really really hard on all of us, and so a lot of it was maintaining the social and emotional health while trying to do the academics,” said Sage.

For math teacher Dorothy Gonzales, when in-person learning started back up again, she had to backtrack with her lesson plans. She says teaching math online was difficult.

“We really had to focus on the essential standards that we wanted to make sure they had so they can be successful in the next math class, so we had to take out some of the concepts that we felt maybe they can get away with not having them,” said Gonzales.

They both say, the test scores are not always a good indicator of what a student has learned.

“I like to focus on my assessment in class, like if they are able to answer my questions in group activities,” said Gonzales.

“There is so much variety when it comes to the testing, that it is hard to look at the numbers and be able to apply those numbers to student potential and student growth,” said Sage.

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