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Most Hoosier third graders passed IREAD, but some students are still being left behind

By Jeanie Lindsay, IPB News | Published on in Community, Education, Family Issues
According to IDOE data, 81.2 percent of the 80,819 students who took the 2021 IREAD-3 reached proficiency on the test. (FILE PHOTO: WFIU/WTIU)

Most Hoosier third graders are on track with their reading skills according to newly released testing data. But results for Indiana’s third grade literacy assessment also show some groups of students are still being left behind as the pandemic continues.

The good news is that roughly 81 percent of Indiana’s third graders passed the IREAD-3 this year.

The bad news is that the state’s overall passing rate is about six points lower than it was in 2019, and some groups of students saw passing rates even lower than that.

Black and Hispanic students, for example, passed IREAD at 62 and about 69 percent, respectively. Special education students passed at a rate of about 52 percent, and students on free and reduced lunch passed at roughly 72 percent.

Indiana Department of Education spokesperson Holly Lawson said the state will send literacy coaches who are experts in the Science of Reading to schools with the greatest need.

“Coaches will be embedded in these schools to help train their fellow educators within that school on the Science of Reading,” Lawson said.

The Science of Reading isn’t a specific curriculum or program; it’s a body of research on reading development, instruction, and best practices that provides educators with multiple strategies for teaching kids how to read.

Lawson said the coaches will be paid for by the department using pandemic relief funds, and targeted to schools that want the additional support based on IREAD data.

Contact reporter Jeanie at jlindsa@iu.edu or follow her on Twitter at @jeanjeanielindz.