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Reading Test Bill from IEA’s Galaviz Exempts English Learners

February 17, 2024

Legislation exempting some English language learners from the state’s standardized reading test was re-introduced in the House Education Committee this week.

House Bill 566 is a new version of a bill introduced by Rep. Soñia Galaviz (D-Boise), an elementary school teacher and member of the Idaho Education Association. The bill exempts students who have spent less than two years in a school in the United States and who score low on the state’s English language proficiency test from the Idaho Reading Indicator, a screening test to measure early literacy skills.

The legislation was re-introduced after it was discovered that the first version mistakenly included an exemption for a separate dyslexia screening. It will likely get a hearing from the full House of Representatives next week.

The bill could exempt up to 1,400 students. Galaviz said the new standard would improve testing results since “false negatives” would be eliminated from the data and that student stress would be reduced not since English language learners aren’t prepared to take the IRI.

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