Statewide, the scores rose from 90.6 percent passing in 2012 to 91.1 percent passing in 2013. The score represents those students passing the test in the spring of this year along with those passing after summer school remediation.
Superintendent of Public Instruction, Glenda Ritz, shared her appreciation for the efforts. Ritz said, “I want to thank the many educators and families who are making reading proficiency a priority throughout Indiana.”
The numbers published on Wednesday show that some 7,100 third graders still have not passed the test, even after a second attempt. Students not passing the reading test are subject to being retained. Under certain circumstances, students may receive a good-cause exemption. This year, 3, 800 students received the exemption, down from 5, 300 last year.
Educators have expressed the need to read at a certain level before leaving third grade saying that the first three years of school are for “learning to read”, whereas, the following years are “reading to learn”.
LaVille Elementary Principal, John Farthing, along with his staff raised passing scores from the first test of 2013 at 95.2 passing to 99 percent passing following the retake test. Farthing said, “We had one student who did not pass, but this was his first year in this country.” He said, “I appreciate the flexibility that the state gives us so that we can use a waiver.”
Farthing had positive comments about the test itself. He said, “We like to be challenged. The test makes us more aware of our reading curriculum and our mission to teach reading.”
Marshall County schools all scored above the state’s average. Following are the individual school breakdowns: Argos, 94.2 percent; Triton, 97.1 percent; Culver, 95.1 percent; and Bremen, 91.2 percent. Students in the four elementary schools in the Plymouth School Corporation came in with good results as well: Menominee, 92.4 percent; Jefferson, 92.4 percent; Washington Academy, 97.2 percent, and Webster, 98.5 percent.
Ritz has expressed her opinion on eliminating the test; however she was met with opposition from the State Board of Education on the matter, in July. Ritz favors the Hoosier Family of Readers initiative that now has more than 127,000 participants.
Carol Anders Correspondent