Secretary Jenner Recognizes 241 Schools in Statehouse Ceremony

INDIANAPOLIS – State leaders recognized educators from 241 schools with scores of 95% or above on the 2023 administration of the IREAD assessment at a ceremony at the Indiana Statehouse on Thursday.

“Mastering foundational literacy skills by the end of third grade is vital to achieving our goal that 95% of Hoosier students are reading proficiently by 2027,” said Governor Eric Holcomb. “Across our state, educators, families and communities are linking arms to help more students read, and it is important that we celebrate this impactful work.”

“While we urgently work to overcome our reading crisis in Indiana, we also must take time to celebrate the schools that continue to improve outcomes for students. Throughout the year, there are opportunities to highlight schools with visits, individual teacher celebrations, and an annual red carpet gala for educators,” said Dr. Katie Jenner, Indiana Secretary of Education. “Today, for the first-time ever, we hosted a celebration for schools that are hitting our statewide reading goal. Today’s celebration included large and small schools, urban and rural, as well as schools that serve diverse student populations, both in terms of race and ethnicity and socioeconomic status, yet the one thing that they all have in common is that they are making it work for students!”

The event program also included remarks from Senate President Pro Tempore Rodric Bray and House Speaker Todd Huston thanking and celebrating the educators in attendance.

“Indiana has a goal of 95% proficiency, and the schools honored today represent that goal and so much more,” said Senator Rodric Bray, President Pro Tempore of the Indiana Senate. “These educators are an inspiration to every other school, demonstrating that achieving our state’s literacy goal is not only attainable but attainable year after year.”

Under the leadership of President Pro Tem Bray, Senate Bill 1, which focuses on early intervention and support for students to ensure they are reading by the end of third grade, is a top priority for the Indiana Senate during the 2024 legislative session and is also part of Governor Holcomb’s 2024 Next Level Agenda. In 2023, under the leadership of Speaker Huston, the Indiana House of Representatives prioritized the passage of the state’s largest-ever investment in literacy.

“Today, there is economic activity happening in every corner and in every county of our state. For many reasons, there’s never been a better time to be a Hoosier, particularly a young Hoosier. But the foundation of that is reading,” said Representative Todd Huston, Speaker of the Indiana House of Representatives. “By helping more students gain foundation reading skills, Indiana’s educators are truly impacting kids’ lives. With the most heartfelt and deepest admiration and thankfulness, thank you for the work you put in every single day for the kids of Indiana.”

To support schools and educators, as well as parents and families in preparing students with foundational reading skills, Indiana continues to make historic investments in literacy, totaling over $170 million. Below are examples of how this investment continues to positively impact students –

  • Launched a new data visualization tool with key literacy data to empower educators, parents and families, community leaders and policymakers with the information needed to continue improving state and local literacy rates.
  • Increased school-level science of reading instructional coaching and support for educators through the Indiana Literacy Cadre. Participation in 2023 grew nearly five-fold, with 199 total schools opting into cohorts one and two.
  • Provided over 105,000 hours of learning support and tutoring services to over 20,000 students through Indiana Learns, regardless of a family’s ability to pay.
  • Grew the Indiana Learning Lab from 6,000 users in 2021 to nearly 60,000 users just two years later, including launching the Parent and Family Support Hub, which provides no cost, 24/7 access to resources for parents and families to support their student’s learning.
  • Developed online professional development modules supporting Indiana educators with additional science of reading training. Nearly 6,000 educators have signed up to participate, with 1,200 have already completed. Eligible teachers will receive a $1,200 stipend upon completion.
  • Expanded the number of schools opting-in to administer the state’s IREAD assessment for second grade students to 1,099 schools. This allows teachers, parents and families to immediately know if a child is on-track or at-risk when it comes to mastering foundational literacy skills.
  • Awarded the Expanding What Works grant to four regional partners serving over 3,000 students to increase access to high-quality summer programming providing supplemental literacy and math instruction using evidence-based strategies.
  • Provided $10 million in cash stipends to teachers, instructional coaches and other school staff at all corporations and charter schools who are responsible for the implementation and delivery of early literacy and reading instruction through the Literacy Achievement Grants.
  • Increased the implementation of evidence-based instructional practices for over 65,000 students across Indiana through the competitive science of reading grant, which awarded nearly $15 million to 72 school corporations. This is in addition to the multiple other initiatives supporting science of reading.
Share This