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Idaho Reading Indicator

Jayden Hayes, 5, poses for a portrait in August 2017 at the Twin Falls Public Library in Twin Falls.

BOISE — Idaho schools saw a slight dip in proficiency among kindergarten through third-graders this spring on the Idaho Reading Indicator test.

About 72.4 percent of students who took the test met proficiency benchmarks — compared with 73 percent in spring 2017, the Idaho State Department of Education announced Friday. Nearly 86,000 students took the IRI.

“Results are basically flat. They have been flat for a number of years,” director of assessment and accountability Karlynn Laraway said in a statement. “It really speaks to the change in assessment, and the need for that change.”

It was the last year for the IRI. Idaho schools are transitioning to a new test, Indicators of Progress Early Reading Test, provided by Istation. Educators are happy a new, online test will be rolled out statewide this fall to replace the IRI, Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra said in a statement.

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Despite the small decline in proficiency on the IRI this spring, the amount of improvement between students’ fall and spring results remained about the same as past years, according to the ISDE. The new reading test will give a much more complete picture of a child’s reading abilities, Laraway said. A key issue with the IRI is it only assesses children’s fluency in reading and not in other areas, she said. The new test will encompass more areas of reading.

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