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Statewide passing rate for the spring IREAD-3 results in recent years:
2011…80.07 percent
2012…84.87 percent
2013…85.28 percent
2014…85.58 percent
Note: Data do not include students who retake the test during summer

State 3rd-grade literacy rate up a bit

Continues recent upward trend for IREAD-3

The number of students who passed the state’s third-grade literacy test remained steady at 85 percent, according to a report released Thursday.

Data released by the Indiana Department of Education show the statewide passage rate for this spring’s exam was 85.58 percent, up from 85.28 percent in the spring of 2013.

Local school and corporation data will be available this month, state officials said.

The testing window for this year’s IREAD-3 – Indiana Reading Evaluation and Determination – was extended because of weather-related school cancellations and delays. The test was originally scheduled for March 17 to 19 but was extended through March 21.

“Today’s numbers are another sign of the great work that is happening in our schools every day,” Glenda Ritz, Indiana superintendent of public instruction, said in a statement. “These numbers show that year by year, we have continued to see modest increases in our passage rate. More importantly, they show that we are promoting a culture of literacy throughout our state.”

The state results released Thursday could change.

Third-graders who failed the test the first time will have a second opportunity to take it again this summer. The summer testing window is June 2 to July 25, according to the Department of Education.

Schools are required to provide students taking the test again with additional reading assistance.

If students fail a second time, schools and districts can determine whether to hold the students back or allow them to enter the fourth grade but provide third-grade instruction.

Those students who fail twice will still be considered third-graders by the state the following year and will be required to take the ISTEP+ and IREAD-3 again.

Some students will receive waivers even if they fail the test. Those include students with special needs, non-English speakers and students who have already been retained twice.

After the second round of exams last year, pass rates among Allen County school districts varied.

Southwest Allen County Schools was highest at 96.1 percent; Northwest Allen County Schools was at 95.4 percent; Fort Wayne Community Schools at 86.1 percent; and East Allen County Schools at 85.4 percent.