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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

New test: Pass or fail?

Friday, March 16, 2012

Mary Ray
It's pass or fail for a large number of Clay Community School (CCS) students who will take a newly state mandated standardized test.

During the week of March 19-21, Indiana third-graders will be clicking their mouse to submit answers for the IREAD-3.

According to the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) website, "Achieving proficiency on (the IREAD) assessment fulfills the requirements of the 2010 (Public Law) 109, also known as (House Enrolled Act) 1367, which is designed to ensure students can read before accessing fourth-grade reading/literacy instruction."

The IREAD-3 assesses students on the Indiana Academic Standards that align to reading skills required by the conclusion of third-grade.

The schools will receive results by April 2012.

Currently, students are testing for the ISTEP+ Applied Skills assessments, and school officials like East Side Elementary School (ESES) Principal Mary Ray said they are willing to go the extra mile to see kids improve on the ISTEP+ and perform well on the IREAD-3.

"We weren't as satisfied with last year's ISTEP scores," Ray said, "so I told the kids that if they raised their scores this year I will do something silly like sit on the roof dressed like an old woman and read or dress up like a clown and come to every classroom to sing and dance."

They will have one week off of testing, but then, teachers will administer the IREAD-3.

Ray said she and the school's faculty members have been working to prepare students and parents for the test.

"We had a parent meeting to give info to the parents from the website," Ray said. "We showed them sample questions. The test is different than the ISTEP because it focuses on basic reading skills only."

ESES third-grade teacher Jennifer Gregg said the IDOE did a good job of answering questions and explaining the test.

"They want to make sure students aren't just learning to read, but also reading to learn," Gregg told The Brazil Times. "Students who are not proficient readers will be retained unless they have an IEP (Individual Education Plan)."

There are exemptions to the stipulations determining access to fourth-grade reading and literacy instruction, including:

* Students who have been previously retained two times in kindergarten, first and/or second-grade,

* Students with disabilities whose Case Conference Committee has determined that promotion is appropriate, and

* English learner students whose IEP Committee has determined that promotion is appropriate.

"Performance results on this test will give us the opportunity to see if we've met the standards in grades K-2, which is difficult to know sometimes," Ray said, "but we don't expect to see a high retention rate."

According to Ray, those who don't pass in March will have the opportunity for a second attempt at the IREAD-3 during the summer.

"We're just trying to get through taking the test this year with a positive and optimistic attitude," ESES third-grade teacher Pam Fischer said. "We as a faculty group have been working hard to form a bond and comradery for the betterment of the students. For some students who don't have the reading skills they need, it would be beneficial for them to take third-grade over."

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