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Idaho literacy test reform bill introduced

Reason as test could be used inappropriately

Idaho Capitol Building

Credit: Contributed photo
Idaho Capitol Building

— An Idaho House panel introduced a bill Feb. 6 to remove a mandatory literacy screening test for Idaho students because it could be used inappropriately.

In 2014, a subcommittee analyzed current state policies around increasing literacy rates. House Education Committee Chair Julie VanOrden said the group received a report that found that the Idaho Reading Indicator was being used incorrectly.

“The legislative intent behind the Idaho reading indicator was stated to provide teachers with information relevant to the reading skills and to use the results to assist in the identification of students needing early reading intervention,” she said citing the report. “Using the tests to evaluate teacher performance conflicts directly with using the tests to identify children at risk for reading problems because the teacher performance objective discourages identifying children with reading problems.”

VanOrden, who authored the bill, said other reading indicators, like learning objectives, formative assessments, student growth tests and performance based assessments, already in use.

The bill must pass a public hearing before going to the full House for a vote.

– Kyle Pfannenstiel covers the 2018 Idaho Legislature for the University of Idaho McClure Center for Public Policy Research.


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