Nine out of every 10 Indiana third graders passed the state’s high-stakes reading skills exam in 2013, state education officials announced Wednesday.
Including this summer’s retakes, 91.1 percent of students passed the IREAD-3 test in 2013, up from the mark of 90.6 percent passing in 2012, the first year third graders took the exam.
More than 11,000 Indiana public school students did not pass the exam on their first try in March, meaning they risked having to repeat the third grade if they didn’t pass the exam on their second attempt over the summer.
The numbers released Wednesday show 7,100 students still had not passed the test after their second attempt.
Local school officials can decide whether to place students who did not pass the IREAD-3 in a third- or fourth-grade classroom, but state rules say these students must take the ISTEP+ and IREAD-3 as third graders.“I want to thank the many educators and families who are making reading proficiency a priority throughout Indiana,” Indiana schools chief Glenda Ritz said in a statement released to the media as the State Board of Education began its meeting this morning. “I am committed to a strong focus on literacy K-12, which is a key indicator of student success.”
State board member Dan Elsener read a statement at the meeting congratulating the state’s teachers and students for their success on the IREAD-3.
“Ensuring students can read by the end of third grade is a goal we’ve had here,” Elsener said at the beginning of the meeting.
The number of students who were allowed to move on to fourth grade because they qualified for a “good cause exemption” decreased slightly from last year. (State rules allow schools to give exemptions to special education students and “English language learners.”)
Of the 79,000 Indiana students who took the exam, more than 3,800 students received a good cause exemption in 2013.
5,300 students received exemptions in 2012.
This post may be updated.