Home » Louisiana K-3 reading scores jump 10 percent on state’s first universal literacy screener

Louisiana K-3 reading scores jump 10 percent on state’s first universal literacy screener

by Minden Press-Herald

Louisiana students in grades K-3 improved their reading scores by 10 percentage points on the state’s first universal literary screener. The percentage of K-3 students reading on grade level jumped from 44.6% on the beginning of year screener to 54.6% on the end of year screener. This data is from the 2023-2024 school year and sets a new baseline that can be used to measure progress in future years.

“I’m encouraged by this growth. It speaks to the commitment of Louisiana teachers to provide students with the basic building blocks of a quality education,” said State Superintendent of Education Dr. Cade Brumley. “The early elementary years are critical to a student’s academic success and we now have a tool to better identify where support is needed whether at the student, school, or system level.”

Overall, Louisiana saw a 10% increase in students reading on grade level in grades K-3 from beginning to end of year. Students in grades K-1 made significant gains, with 27% more kindergarten students and 14% more first grade students reading on grade level from the beginning of the year. More detailed data is available in the Louisiana Department of Education’s (LDOE) K-3 Spring Reading Report. K-3 literacy screener results by school system and school are also available online for spring 2024 and fall 2023

All Louisiana public school students in grades K-3 are required to complete literacy screeners. These assessments, which increase in difficulty from beginning to end of year, provide teachers with real-time data to support students during their foundational years in school.

Louisiana has made considerable progress since launching its comprehensive literacy plan in 2021. The Education Recovery Scorecard found that Louisiana is one of only three states where average reading achievement in 2023 was above 2019 levels. Louisiana’s 4th graders were No. 1 in the nation for reading growth on The Nation’s Report Card and economically disadvantaged 4th graders improved from 42nd to 11th overall for reading proficiency from 2019 to 2022.

Louisiana has also drawn national attention for its bold literacy policies. The non-profit education organization ExcelinEd recognized Louisiana as one of only three states taking action on all 18 of the organization’s early literacy fundamental principles. These include a universal screener for K-3 students and science of reading training for all K-3 teachers.

“This marked the first year of full implementation for key literacy policies,” said Deputy Superintendent Dr. Jenna Chiasson. “Not only are we poised for additional reading progress, but similar math policy shifts have been made to accelerate student outcomes.”

About Louisiana’s K-3 Literacy Screener

This is the first year the LDOE is administering one universal literacy screener to students in grades K-3. These assessments provide teachers with information on student reading levels and how well students are progressing on particular skills. The screeners are given through a secure administration and measure skills predictive to reading success as a student progresses through school. Student scores are reported as Well Above Level, On Level, Below Level, or Well Below Level.

Beginning in the 2024-25 school year, third grade students who score at the Well Below level at the end of the school year are at risk of retention. Beginning in the 2025-26 school year, results from the literacy screener will be included in school performance scores.

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