News From Terre Haute, Indiana

May 22, 2013

Vigo tops state average for IREAD-3 scores

Sue Loughlin
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — The Vigo County School Corp. exceeded the state average in the percentage of students passing the state’s mandatory Grade 3 reading test, IREAD-3.

In Vigo County, 86.7 percent of students passed this year, compared to 86.1 percent statewide. In Vigo County, 1,223 students took the test.

“District officials are pleased with this percentage, given the fact that the Vigo County School Corp. has 53.9 percent of students on free/reduced lunch (state average 48.2 percent) and a special education population of 21.6 percent (state average 14.6 percent),” Karen Goeller, deputy superintendent, stated in a news release.

A state law passed in 2010 requires third graders to demonstrate grade-level reading proficiency before moving on to grade 4 reading instruction.

Last year, 85.7 percent of students passed statewide, and 84.2 percent in Vigo County.

This is the second year for the test.

For students who did not pass IREAD-3 this spring, VCSC third-grade classroom and resource teachers are providing daily literacy interventions.

In addition, the district is offering a 12-day  IREAD-3 Summer Intervention Program   next month. At the conclusion, students will have the opportunity to re-test in an online format.

Goeller noted that statewide figures released include students who failed but are eligible for “good cause” waivers. Good cause waivers can include students that have been retained twice, receive special education services and/or are English Language Learners. These students do not have to be retained in third grade and can be moved on to grade 4.

When those who qualify for “good cause” waivers are taken out of the determination, the pass rate is much higher, she said. Case conference and other committees are still determining those students who qualify for the waivers.

She noted that 54 VCSC who failed the test are not eligible for a good cause exemption, which is about 4.4 percent. They must pass the retest during the summer or they will be retained, she said.

Last year, after retesting, just 25 third-graders had to be retained, Goeller said. Some of them may have been retained anyway since some of them had missed many days of school. In those cases, “Retention was an effective intervention,” she said.

Sue Loughlin can be reached at (812) 231-4235 or sue.loughlin@tribstar.com.