By The Numbers: DIBELS testing shows improved reading progress over last two years

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Mid-year testing results show fewer young students are in need of intensive interventions for reading compared to the same point last school year. Achievement gaps have also shrunk between Black and Hispanic students and their Asian and White peers in grades K-2, according to a report by Amplify, a curriculum and assessment company that uses its mCLASS platform to help teachers administer the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) assessment.

There is, however, a higher percentage of students deemed at risk for reading interventions than prior to the pandemic in the 2019-20 school year. Third graders showed no improvement in mid-year testing over the last two school years.

“This group of students who experienced the most instructional loss may need more support to catch up and stay on track,” the report said.

The analysis draws from assessment results from 300,000 students representing 1,400 school districts in 43 states.

The report recommends schools and districts invest in a reliable universal screener, high-quality core curriculum, evidence-based interventions and professional development.

By the numbers



The proportion of 3rd graders on track for reading and ready for core instruction mid-year in 2022-23. It was the same percentage in 2021-22, but in 2019-20, the figure was 59%.


+5 percentage points

The increase in the percentage of 1st graders (52%) in 2022-23 on track for reading, compared to 1st graders (47%) in 2021-22.



How many kindergartners are far behind in reading and need intensive interventions in 2022-23. During the 2020-21 school year, assessment results showed 47% of kindergartners in this category.


+9 percentage points

The increase from the 2021-22 and 2022-23 school years in the percent of Black kindergartners on track for reading. For all kindergarten subgroups, there was a +5 percentage point increase.


0 percentage points

The difference from the 2021-22 and 2022-23 school years for all 3rd grade subgroups on track for reading. Asian, Black and White 3rd graders all dipped 1 percentage point while the subgroup of Hispanic students had no change.


+2 percentage points

The increase from the 2021-22 and 2022-23 school years in the percent of both Asian and Black 3rd graders who are at greatest risk for not learning to read. Hispanic students had a 1 percentage point drop, while there was no change for White students or the average for all students.

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