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State's third-graders improve on reading test

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Department of Education on Wednesday reported a 91.1 percent 2013 passage rate for the state’s third-grade reading test.

That is up from 90.6 percent in 2012.

This data include students that passed the spring 2013 IREAD3 as well as summer re-tests.

“I want to thank the many educators and families who are making reading proficiency a priority throughout Indiana,” Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz said. “I am committed to a strong focus on literacy K-12, which is a key indicator of student success.”

Allen County districts had varying passing rates. Southwest Allen County Schools had the highest at 96.1 percent, Northwest Allen County Schools had 95.4 percent, Fort Wayne Community Schools had 86.1 percent and East Allen County Schools had 85.4 percent.

The scores were released in a two-paragraph statement.

Ritz wants to eliminate the third-grade reading exam but the State Board of Education rebuffed her in July.

At Wednesday’s State Board of Education meeting, Ritz made a passing reference to the IREAD3 results.

Afterward, member Dan Elsener expressed concern that DOE is not talking about student accomplishments enough.

“It’s pretty clear we have some cause for celebration and recognition. We have made some bold policy moves together,” he said. “Moving the needle is hard work. This is the type of achievements that change lives.

“We’re making a difference.”

He authored a congratulatory editorial to teachers, schools, students and principals via a resolution passed by the board.

Instead of focusing on the test Wednesday, Ritz used the news release to discuss the Hoosier Family of Readers initiative, which had more than 127,000 participants this summer.

“The Department encourages schools to join the Hoosier Family of Readers by developing their own initiatives to promote and support reading outside of the school day,” the news release said.

nkelly@jg.net

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