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 2007 ISTEP+ Results Mixed Statewide, Locally

December 19, 2007 - The state released results from last fall's Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress-Plus test last Wednesday.

According to a press release issued by the Indiana Department of Education, 72 percent of approximately 700,000 students in grades 3-10 who took the ISTEP+ last fall passed the exam. Seventy-one percent passed the English/language arts portion of the exam, while 74 percent passed the math part of the test - both one-percent improvements over last year.

Statewide, pass rates for the English/language arts part of the ISTEP+ improved in six of the eight grades that were tested, while math rates held steady or improved in seven grades. The IDOE says that the percentage of students passing both portions of the test has increased 10 percent over the past decade.

"Though we will not be satisfied until every student passes ISTEP+, it is encouraging to see scores moving in the right direction for the state as a whole," Suellen Reed, state superintendent of public instruction, said in the IDOE press release. "What the statewide numbers don't reflect are the larger gains being made by many of our local schools, even those with challenging student populations."

Looking at area schools, sixth graders in the South Henry School Corporation posted the highest overall pass rate (88.6 percent) for the ISTEP+, while their 10th graders at Tri Jr.-Sr. High School had the lowest (59.6 percent). The Shenandoah School Corporation was the only one in the area to have all its students meet or surpass the exam's statewide pass rate for each grade, while five grades in the New Castle Community School Corporation fell below the state average.

Statewide, third and fifth graders posted the highest pass rates (75 percent) for the English/language arts part of the test, while ninth graders posted the lowest (66 percent). Looking at area schools, fourth graders in the Charles A. Beard Memorial School Corporation posted the highest pass rate (89 percent) for this portion of the exam, a feat they also accomplished last year as third graders. CAB was also the only area school corporation to meet or surpass the average statewide English/language arts pass rate for each grade.

A total of 19 of 56 grades of students in area schools failed to meet or exceed the 71 percent statewide average pass rate for the English/language arts portion of the exam, up from 18 grades for the 2006 test. At 58 percent, South Henry 10th graders at Tri had the lowest pass rate for this part of the test among area schools, something these students did as ninth graders last year.

Four of the grades at South Henry, the fifth, sixth, eighth and 10th graders, improved their English/language arts pass rates from what they were for the 2006 test. At CAB, students in five grades posted lower pass rates this year.

On the math part of the test, statewide averages ranged from a low of 66 percent for 10th graders, to a high of 80 percent for sixth graders. In area schools, 94 percent of the sixth graders at South Henry passed the math part of the test, giving them the highest pass rate among area students. For the second year in a row, the Shenandoah School Corporation was the only one in the area to meet or surpass the average statewide math pass rate for each grade, while CAB had only one grade, its 10th graders, fall below the state mark.

In all, area school corporations failed to meet or exceed the average statewide pass rate for the math part of the test in 18 of 56 tested grades, up five grades from last year. In the New Castle Community School Corporation, six of the eight grades tested posted math pass rates below the statewide average, as did five grades at Blue River Valley Schools.

CAB's fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth graders increased their math pass rate an average of 7 percentage points from the 2006 test, the sixth and eighth graders posting respective gains of 13 and eight points. By contrast, BRV had five grades perform worse on the part of the test this year.

The highest percentage of area students passing both the English/language arts and math portions of the test were the sixth graders at South Henry (80.3 percent). Only 46.3 percent of fourth graders at BRV passed both parts of the ISTEP+, the lowest rate in area school corporations.

Overall, Shenandoah and CAB had the fewest instances of their students not meeting or exceeding statewide averages, with two and five occurrences, respectively. With 19 and 18 such failures, New Castle and BRV had the most.

Detailed information, including performance data for individual school corporations and schools, has been posted online at the IDOE's website, www.doe.state.in.us/istep/2007/.

 

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