The results of the 2022-23 Indiana Reading Evaluation and Determination assessment, which were released on Aug. 16, reflect that nearly one in five students are still struggling to read by the end of the third grade.
The number of Indiana students who have mastered foundational reading skills by the end of third grade slightly improved, according to the recently released results. More than 81% of third graders in Indiana demonstrated proficient reading skills on the assessment, a 0.3 percentage point increase from the 2021-22 school year results, according to the release.
“This is a crisis that could have a long-term negative impact on Indiana’s economy and negative repercussions throughout our society,” Indiana Secretary of Education Katie Jenner said in a press release released on Aug. 16th. “We have no time to waste, and together, we must urgently work to improve reading outcomes for Indiana students, including supporting both current and future educators with the knowledge and tools necessary to teach our students to read using evidence-based literacy instruction, rooted in science of reading.”
According to the results, more than 18%, or almost 15,000 third graders, will need additional support to meet grade-level reading standards.
The overall reading proficiency of Black students, students receiving free or reduced-price meals, students in special education and English learners increased slightly this year.
Proficiency scores for Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander students increased by 7.5 percentage points from last year, according to the results. This group is the only student demographic or socioeconomic group to recover to pre-pandemic proficiency rates.
Hispanic students’ overall reading proficiency decreased slightly, according to the release, along with the scores of Native American students.
White and Asian students' reading proficiency rose by 0.5 percentage points this year while multiracial students reading proficiency rose by 1.5 percentage points this year.
Indiana’s third grade literacy rates have been dropping for more than a decade, and the state’s results remain 9.5 percentage points below the state’s top proficiency rate of 91.4% during the 2012-13 school year.
When compared to other states, the percentage of fourth graders in Indiana, 33%, who read at or above the proficient level in 2022 does not significantly differ from the national public, which is 32%, according to data from the Nation’s Report Card. Indiana is among 36 other states with no significant difference. There are eight states that performed significantly higher than the national average.
According to the release, continued reading proficiency improvement amongst all student populations is necessary to meet the statewide goal of 95% of students passing the IREAD-3 by 2027.