Board: Keep Idaho's reading test statewide

Board: Keep Idaho's reading test statewide
Posted at 10:47 AM, Mar 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-16 12:47:14-04

The Idaho State Board of Education has come out against a legislative proposal seeking to revise the state's 20-year-old reading test for young students.

Board members announced Thursday they will oppose any legislation that would remove a statewide reading assessment.

Lawmakers have been working behind closed doors for weeks on redesigning or replacing the so-called Idaho Reading Indicator -- an early reading test for kindergarten through third-graders with the intent of identifying students falling behind. It's been a tool used by schools for two decades, but one some critics says it's due for retirement.

Earlier this week, Rep. Julie VanOrden -- chair of the House Education Committee -- introduced a bill that would allow local school districts create their own reading assessments. That proposal was scheduled for a hearing on Friday, but has since been removed from the agenda.

Board members countered that a statewide assessment ensures a consistent evaluation process.