Scores released for K-3 reading test

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State, district, and school level results on the state’s new early reading tests were released recently. The new Idaho Reading Indicator was piloted last year and all students in kindergarten through third grade took the new test this fall.

The new IRI provides a wealth of data to help students hone reading skills and prepare for academic success, Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra said.

Schools and teachers have immediate access to student results to shape instruction and identify extra help for students.

Statewide results show that of about 89,000 K-3 students:

• 52.5 percent were at grade level

• 24 percent were near grade level

• 23.4 percent were below grade level

Parents are notified when a student is not at grade level and a plan is created to provide the student extra support. Students near grade level are eligible for 30 hours of extra help and those below grade level qualify for 60 hours of additional support funded through the state’s literacy intervention program.

Individual grade results show the percentages of students at grade level during the first month of school this year:

• 45 percent of kindergartners

• 42.9 percent of first-graders

• 60.3 percent of second-graders

• 61.9 percent of third-graders

Results between the old and new tests should not be compared because of the differences between the two.

, SDE Director of Assessment and Accountability Karlynn Laraway said. The old IRI was retired last spring and measured children’s fluency in reading – basically, how fast they could read, Laraway said.

The new IRI assesses phonemic awareness, letter knowledge, vocabulary, spelling and comprehension as well as fluency, Laraway said.

“This assessment gives a more complete view of students’ skills and helps teachers focus their instruction to meet their students’ individual needs and monitor their progress,” she said.

Response to the online test, administered this August and September, has been positive, Laraway said. Educators throughout Idaho trained on the new test this summer.

This fall, teachers statewide completed training on how to use the data from this assessment to inform instruction. In a feedback survey, teachers gave the training high marks, commenting on ease of use and “real information that I can put to use immediately.”

In addition, teachers have new tools to monitor their students’ progress throughout the school year between the fall and spring state tests.

Parents receive a detailed report about their child’s skills and development. And they can link to other resources, such as recommended books for their child to read.

District and school-level results from the new reading test are available on the State Department of Education accountability website Students in kindergarten through third grade will take the test again in May.

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