Pricey Inititiative To Help Young Idaho Readers Helping, Scores Show

Aug 2, 2017

Numbers out from the State Department Of Education show Idaho's youngest readers in grades K-3 are improving their literacy skills.
Credit Erik Schepers / Flickr

Reading scores among the state's youngest students are up a year after a pricey literacy initiative was launched. The State Department of Education released spring reading scores this week.

The data reveals more students between kindergarten and third grade are reading at the appropriate level and fewer kids are lagging behind.

Idaho Ed News reports the percentage of K-3 students reading at grade level has increased by 1 percent – one year into an initiative that puts more than $11 million toward literacy annually. Before the program started, 72 percent of young students were at grade proficiency; now 73 percent are. While that increase sounds small, it translates to almost 11,000 students improving.

About 62,000 students are where they should be when it comes to reading skills, but just over 23,000 kids still haven’t hit the required benchmark.

The State Board of Education says it's pleased with the results but still wants more answers. They want to know if teacher training programs are making a difference, and the board is curious how much of a “summer slide” is occurring while students are away from classrooms.

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