The large majority of Elkhart County third-graders have passed the new state standardized reading test. For those who did not, schools are now organizing plans to help them pass on the second try this summer.
The state returned students’ scores on the Indiana Reading Evaluation and Determination test (IREAD-3) to schools earlier this month. While the state has not released results to the public or media, local administrators have shared results.
Middlebury and Wa-Nee districts had more than 90 percent of their students passing, while Jimtown, Fairfield and Goshen had between 80 and 90 percent passing the test. Concord and Elkhart both had between 70 and 79 percent passing. More complete results are below.
Many of the students who did not pass the first administration of the IREAD-3 may receive an exemption, but all will be invited to participate in intervention efforts. Most schools are offering focused class time or after school time to work with those students, along with summer school remediation this summer followed by the second chance at the test. Administrators from several districts said that they were confident that with the extra work with those students, all would pass this summer.
According to the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE), students who do not pass the IREAD-3 “will continue to receive instruction in Grade 3 Reading, will be officially reported as a third grader, and will fully participate in the Grade 3 ISTEP+ assessment.”
Students available for exemptions are those who have been retained twice prior to fourth grade already and some English language learners and some students with disabilities, as determined by the school, according to the IDOE.
Students needed to earn at least 446 points on the 650-point test to pass. The IDOE has also developed IREAD-K, IREAD-1 and IREAD-2 tests to administer to students in kindergarten, first and second grades to see how students are progressing toward third-grade standards, but which do not hold the consequences of the IREAD-3.
Baugo, 86 percent PASSING
Carol Deak, Baugo’s director of learning, said that 19 third-graders did not pass the test. Of those, 10 are eligible for exemptions, Deak said. Four were within 8 or so points of passing the test.
Concord, 79 percent PASSING
In Concord’s elementaries, 306 students passed, while 80 did not, according to Bryan Waltz, Concord’s director of elementary education. Nineteen of those students were within 10 points of passing and 12 received perfect scores. Of the 80 who did not pass, 39 are eligible for exemptions.
Elkhart, 72 percent PASSING
Shawn Hannon, Elkhart’s director of student accounting and program evaluation, said that 276 third-graders did not pass the test. Sixty-two percent of those students are eligible for exemptions.
Hannon said that the summer remediation will be “very focused, targeted” and in classes of 10 students or fewer to ensure that the bulk of those students will pass on the second testing and continue onto fourth-grade reading.
She noted that of all Elkhart’s third-graders who are English language learners but who have reached reading level 5, considered fluent in English, all 23 students passed.
It was difficult knowing what results would be going into the test for the first time, she said, but added that attendance was very high the days of the test.
“I gather from that parents understood the importance of having them there,” she said.
Fairfield, 89.5 PERCENT PASSING
Assistant Superintendent Steven Thalheimer said that 16 students did not pass the IREAD-3 and that 13 of those students are eligible for exemptions. Of the remaining three students, one was three points away from passing.
“I thought overall it went well,” Thalheimer said. He added that Fairfield will now be better prepared to know how students at each reading level will do on the test and how what students learn in class relates to how they do on the test.
Goshen, 80 percent PASSING
Ninety-six third-grade students did not pass the test. Tamra Ummel, Goshen’s executive director of elementary education, told the Goshen School Board at its April 9 meeting that about half of those students could receive an exemption.
She also pointed out that between 15 and 20 students were within several points of passing the IREAD-3 and 11 students received perfect scores on the test.
“There’s some good news in there as well,” she said.
Middlebury, 91 percent PASSING
In Middlebury’s elementaries, 314 third-graders passed the IREAD-3, while 30 did not pass, according to Jane Allen, Middlebury’s director of curriculum and instruction. Of those 30, 22 are eligible for an exemption, with eight retesting during the summer.
Allen pointed out that with 27 students earning perfect scores, that 8.7 percent of students did not pass, while 8.0 percent received the highest scores possible.
Wa-Nee, 91 percent PASSING
Twenty-two students did not pass the test, according to Jim Bennett, Wa-Nee’s director of curriculum and instruction, though 11 of those may receive an exemption.
Bennett said that students were anxious about the test, but that it seemed to have gone OK.