The Department of Education released IREAD-3 data today that shows a slight increase in pass rates from last year.
The test is supposed to determine whether third graders can read well enough to move on to the fourth grade, but not all students who fail will be held back.
About 86 percent of Indiana third graders passed the IREAD-3 test this year, only a slight increase from last year. State law gives students who fail the spring test a chance to retake the test over the summer. If they don’t pass, they have to take the test again the following spring.
In some school districts, that means making the student repeat third grade or participate in reading remediation throughout fourth grade.Elkhart Community Schools Communication and Data Director Shawn Hannon says what happens to a child after failing the IREAD-3 varies depending on what’s right for the student.
“They will be a third grader, regardless of where they are,” Hannon says. “Some are in a third grade classroom, some are in a third grade homeroom and fourth grade for some subjects. Some are the other way around, if it’s more appropriate for them to be in a fourth grade homeroom and then getting Language Arts instruction in third grade.”
Jackie Kuhn, director of English language arts for Evansville-Vanderburgh School Corporation, was a principal in the district last year. She says her school had a different approach to retention for students who failed the IREAD-3.
“In the eyes of the state they were still coded as third graders, however they took third grade content but also had third grade ELA,” Kuhn says.
State superintendent Glenda Ritz, who openly opposes the IREAD-3, says she’s pleased by the increase in passing rates.
“Today’s numbers are another sign of the great work that is happening in our schools every day,” Ritz wrote in a statement. “These numbers show that year by year, we have continued to see modest increases in our passage rate. More importantly, they show that we are promoting a culture of literacy throughout our state. Moving forward, I will continue to promote literacy and reading throughout all of Indiana.”
Most schools offer tutoring for students who failed the test. IREAD-3 make up tests begin this summer.