Early reading test shows gains from last year in Idaho

The results were up 3% from a year ago
Preschool kids reading
Preschool kids reading((Source: KPLC))
Published: Jul. 6, 2022 at 6:00 PM MDT
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BOISE, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — Early statewide results are showing an improvement in reading test scores in Idaho from the previous spring and fall.

The results show more than two-thirds of all Idaho children aged kindergarten to third grade were reading at grade level by the end of the school year.

“That means these students’ reading skills improved by more than 17 percentage points since the school year started, showing that their teachers effectively used the fall IRI results to work with individual students to increase proficiency,” Superintendent Ybarra said. “That’s a higher fall-to-spring improvement than in 2021, and the same level of improvement shown in 2019, the last year before the pandemic hit.”

“Another important measure – based on new legislation that ties a portion of a district’s early literacy funding to their students’ performance on the IRI – compares students’ proficiency and growth to the previous year,” the superintendent said. “Spring results at each grade level were higher than in 2021, although not yet back to pre-pandemic levels for grades 1 through 3.

The spring-to-spring results are as follows, per the report:

  • Kindergarten – 64.8 percent proficient, up from 61.3 percent in 2021 and 63.1 percent in 2019
  • First grade – 63.8 percent proficient, up from 59.5 percent in 2021; 66.7 percent were proficient in 2019
  • Second grade – 72.4 percent proficient, up from 69.2 percent in 2021; 75.3 percent were proficient in 2019
  • Third grade – 71.7 percent proficient, up from 70.1 percent in 2021; 73.2 percent were proficient in 2019

Results from the spring 2022 Idaho Reading Indicator show 68.2% of Idaho K-3 students were reading at grade level, up 3% points from a year ago, and 1.9% points from 2019.

“We expect to see continued improvement in the coming years, closing in on our goal of making sure all Idaho students learn to read by third grade so they can read to learn for the rest of their lives,” Superintendent Ybarra said.

“This year the Legislature dramatically increased early literacy funding from $26 million to $72.8 million, opening up options and opportunities for districts to develop literacy intervention programs – including optional full-day kindergarten – that best support their students. I particularly appreciate that the new law prioritizes support for economically disadvantaged students,” she continued.

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