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STATEWIDE — Indiana released its latest reading test scores this week, revealing that nearly one in five third graders still struggles with reading. The Indiana Reading Evaluation and Determination assessment’s statewide results indicate that 81.9% of over 65,000 third-grade students in Indiana demonstrated proficiency in reading. The latest results mark a slight improvement of 0.3 percentage points compared to the 2021-2022 school year.


In a news release, Education Secretary Katie Jenner expressed concern, stating, “Today, nearly one in five Indiana students is unable to read by the end of third grade. This crisis could have lasting adverse effects on Indiana’s economy and reverberate negatively throughout our society.”


Indiana’s third-grade literacy rates have been declining for ten years, beginning before the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The scores are 9.5 percentage points lower than the state’s highest-ever proficiency rate of 91.4% achieved during 2012-2013. Although reading proficiency slightly improved for Black students, students receiving free or reduced-price meals, students in special education, and English learners, it decreased for Hispanic students, as the Department of Education reported.


The department aims to achieve a 95% statewide passing rate for IREAD-3 by 2027. The most recent scores indicate that 242 out of Indiana’s 1,366 elementary schools have reached this goal, reflecting an increase of 32 schools compared to the previous year.


K-12 schools have $1 billion in federal pandemic aid left to spend.