Reading scores are up in grades 1-3 across the state of Louisiana. Recently, the Louisiana Department of Education released its Fall 2022 Reading Report, showing how public school students in grades K-3 had scored on their annual literacy screener. According to the news release from LDOE, Louisiana’s overall score improved, and students in grades 1-3 showed growth for the second consecutive year. In fact, this year’s third-graders earned their highest score since 2018.
Dr. Cade Brumley, the Louisiana Superintendent of Education, offered words of ongoing encouragement by saying, “it’s good to see the continued reading progress for our students. Ensuring children can read must remain a fundamental priority in every school across our state.”
LDOE’s report, titled The Fall 2022 Reading Report, includes state, school system, and individual school data for public school students in grades K-3. School Systems are able to select from four research-based screening assessments to administer to their students, who will take this literacy screener within the first 30 days of a new school year. At the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year in August, the state adopted Louisiana’s first K-2 accountability plan, which included a uniform literacy screener for students in the early grades of their education.
Although the scores for students in grades 1-3 have increased for the second year in a row, the scores for students entering kindergarten have declined. These literacy screeners are administered to students within the first 30 days of a new school year, and they are able to capture a snapshot of a child’s reading ability as they enter into a new grade. Teachers then develop specific reading plans and alter instruction based on student scores to help them become proficient in reading by the end of their third-grade year.
Because Louisiana students entering kindergarten did not increase their reading scores from previous years, this is seen as the latest addition to data indicating the continued progress of Louisiana students following the unprecedented classroom disruptions that were caused by multiple hurricanes and the pandemic.
Earlier this semester, Louisiana’s statewide performance scores were released, and it indicated that the state’s scores were returning to a pre-pandemic level. This was in addition to the Nation’s Report Card being released in October, where it was indicated that Louisiana students had avoided some of the most dramatic learning losses seen across the nation. Lastly, when the LDOE released 2021-2022 LEAP scores this past August, it was shown that Mastery rates had improved in ELA and math for students in grades 3-8.
Deputy Superintendent Dr. Jenna Chaisson spoke about the pacing of the state’s comprehensive literacy plan by saying, “Louisiana’s Comprehensive Literacy Plan is building momentum across the state, and we are beginning to see the impact of this foundational shift in how we teach children to read. Our youngest learners were the most impacted by the disruptions of the past few years. We have the support in place to keep our students in grades 1-3 on the right track and to accelerate the progress for our new kindergarten children.”
Both Louisiana law and policy from the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) require that school systems in the state administer what’s known as a literary screener no later than thirty days after the beginning of a school year to all students in kindergarten, first, second, and third grade. This annual fall reading screening is seen as a vital tool for ensuring that all students are on the right track to becoming proficient readers by the end of their third-grade year. School systems are able to choose among four research-based screening assessments, each of which measures a particular skill or skills that are typically predictive of later reading success. The skills build upon each other from one grade level to the next and are appropriately matched to children’s ages and developmental stages.
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