Fresh, compelling evidence on the link between income and kindergarten reading readiness comes from Boise School District Superintendent Don Coberly.
Writing in Data Points, where Coberly focuses on student achievement and education analysis, he shows a correlation between the percentage of students who receive free or reduced lunches at elementaries and the lower percentage of kindergarteners who get the top rating on the Idaho Reading Indicator.
The Idaho Reading Indicator is a short test of reading ability in which students are ranked as reading on grade level, near grade level or below grade level.
For example, schools such as Van Buren and Sacajawea elementaries, both Caldwell School District schools, had at least 90 percent of students on free and reduced lunches in fall 2013. Only 23 percent of kindergarten students were reading on grade level, Coberly said. In schools such as West Ada School District's Galileo STEM Academy, where the free and reduced lunch rate is 11 percent, 87 percent of students were on grade level.