Boise summit focuses on reading

Educators, business leaders and elected officials will meet Friday to discuss Idaho’s stagnant results in reading scores — and look for ways to improve.

The Idaho Reading and Learning Summit will be held from 7:15 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. at the Boise State University Student Union Building. Registration is free but seating is limited; here’s a link to the registration site.

Idaho’s reading scores have remained relatively flat since 2011, according to a National Assessment of Educational Progress report released last week. Idaho fourth-graders scored an average of 219, compared to a national average of 221; eighth-graders scored an average of 270, compared to a national average of 266. (Click here to read more about the long-term implications of Idaho’s NAEP scores.)

But summit sponsors point out that early reading performance is a predictor of future academic success. And in 2011, nearly a third of Idaho students entered the fourth grade reading behind grade level.

“Children learn to read between kindergarten and third grade, after third grade they read to learn,” according to the summit’s website. “If they are not reading at grade level by the fourth grade they are likely to struggle throughout their education journey and are more likely to drop out of school.”

Speakers at Friday’s summit include Lt. Gov. Brad Little; BSU distinguished educator in residence and former astronaut Barbara Morgan; deputy state superintendent Roger Quarles; and House Education Committee Chairman Reed DeMordaunt. (Click here to review the summit agenda.)

Sponsors for the summit include Don’t Fail Idaho; the Idaho School Boards Association; the Idaho Association of School Administrators; the Idaho Education Assocation; Idaho Business for Education; and the BSU College of Education’s Department of Literacy.

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Disclosure: Don’t Fail Idaho and Idaho Education News are funded by the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation. Idaho Education News reporters are employees of Boise State University.