ISTEP tests were moved from the Fall to the Spring during the last school year.
Updated: Wednesday, 16 Sep 2009, 11:48 AM EDT
Published : Wednesday, 16 Sep 2009, 10:13 AM EDT
INDIANAPOLIS (AP/WANE) -- - About 70 percent of Indiana's students passed state exams, which
were given this spring for the first time in years.
Statewide, 70 percent of students passed the English portion of the ISTEP test while 71 percent passed math. Only 62 percent of students who took a science test passed, while just 59 percent passed social studies.
The results released Wednesday are the state's first recent glimpse at scores from spring tests. Previous ISTEP tests were given in the fall.
Overall passing rates this spring were similar to fall numbers, but the Indiana Department of Education cautions against comparing the scores since the spring test is a new exam and is scored differently.
The spring scores will set a baseline for future scores
You can find complete ISTEP+ results by clicking here .
NewsChannel 15's Chris Hopper is getting reaction to the results. Look for his reports on NewsChannel 15 at 5 and 6.
The following news release was issued by the Indiana State Department of Education:
The 2009 Indiana Statewide Testing for Education Progress-Plus (ISTEP+) results, released today by Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Tony Bennett, revealed many Indiana students were challenged by the new test and benchmarks. The test, administered last spring, resulted in statewide pass rates of 70 percent in English/Language Arts, 71percent in Mathematics, 62 percent in Science and 59 percent in Social Studies.
“The results remind us that there is much work to be done by the department, communities, schools and in students’ homes to improve student learning in Indiana,” Bennett said. “We must not accept these numbers, and we must work together every day to achieve our goal of 90 percent of students passing the ISTEP+.”
Twenty-one schools had at least 90 percent of their students pass both the Mathematics and English/Language Arts portions of the ISTEP+.
Students at Dupont Elementary in Jefferson County performed above the 90 percent benchmark once again after slipping below the benchmark last year. Likewise, Brentwood Elementary in Plainfield pushed its students above 90 percent for the first time in nine years, with 92.5 percent passing both the Mathematics and English/Language Arts portions of the ISTEP+.
“I am encouraged by the results in some of our schools. We must not only applaud them but also use them as examples for struggling schools around the state,” Bennett said. “The goal for all schools must be continued improvement. We want our low-achieving schools to get better and our high-achieving schools to keep raising the bar each day. Indiana needs a renewed commitment to education, because our current approach isn’t achieving the results we need.”
In June, national experts and key decision-makers gathered in Indiana for the first ever Indiana Math Summit. The summit was the first of many steps the state is taking to raise awareness about the importance of math, to reach a consensus around what works to improve math achievement and to create a sense of urgency that now is the time for change in classrooms and communities across Indiana. On October 1 of this year, the Department of Education will host the first ever Indiana Reading Summit to address some of the same concerns in English/Language Arts.
Due to changes in the test, its benchmarks and the new spring administration, these results are significantly different than previous versions of the ISTEP+ and don’t allow for direct year-to-year comparisons.
All ISTEP+ information, including performance data for each corporation and school, is available online at www.doe.in.gov/istep.
About the new Spring ISTEP+
The goal of ISTEP+ is to measure how well students perform and comprehend the skills and content outlined in Indiana’s Academic Standards. The move from fall to spring added Indiana to the overwhelming number of states that already administer federal accountability assessments in the spring. Like the previous test, the new spring version of ISTEP+ includes open-ended and multiple-choice questions in English/Language Arts and Mathematics at each grade level, as well as Science at grades 4 and 6 and Social Studies at grades 5 and 7. Although the overall format of the test remained the same, including essay and multiple-choice questions, the spring test was administered in two sessions.
Based on feedback from parents and educators, ISTEP+ administration was moved from fall to spring beginning last school year to ensure students are tested on current grade-level competency. When the test is administered in the spring, the ISTEP+ is a more accurate measure of a student’s performance within the current school year and better enables opportunities for remediation during the summer.
In addition to the new test and process, new cut scores, also called baselines or benchmarks, were established. In July, approximately 160 teachers from across the state gathered to recommend new cut scores, review the test and examine how students performed on the Indiana Academic Standards. The new cut scores can be found online at www.doe.in.gov/istep/2009.
Upon review, educators found some items that did not match grade-level standards. These items were suppressed and were not part of students’ scores.
Supporting Students & Parents
ISTEP+ Parent Network: Last year, the Department of Education established the ISTEP+ Parent Network, an online resource offering parents secure access to their students’ ISTEP+ scores. Accessible on demand throughout the year at www.doe.in.gov/istepparentnetwork, families can use the ISTEP+ Parent Network to review students’ latest assessment results quickly and easily and connect to useful educational resources. Parents who do not receive a letter containing secure ISTEP+ Parent Network login information should contact the student’s school directly.
On Track Resource Guides: The state’s On Track mini-magazine series is designed to help parents stay connected and support student learning throughout the year. Distributed annually to families across Indiana, these guides highlight what students are expected to know at each grade level, offer helpful learning tips and provide Web links to additional online resources. Visit www.doe.in.gov/publications to learn more.
Supporting Teachers & Schools
Computer-based assessment tools: Last year, teachers from more than 600 Indiana schools were trained to use new computer-based assessments provided by the state. These tools are designed to help teachers conduct quick mini-checkups of student performance throughout the school year so learning issues can be addressed as material is taught rather than waiting until the high-stakes ISTEP+ test. Within a year, these voluntary tools will be available to every school corporation statewide.
Core Standards: Since being adopted in 2000, Indiana’s K-12 Academic Standards have been consistently recognized as among the best in the country by state and national organizations. In fact, Indiana’s standards were ranked first in the nation by Education Weekly’s annual “Quality Counts” report. But many Indiana teachers have expressed a need for a more manageable set of academic concepts that emphasize the “big ideas” across the curriculum. The Indiana Department of Education responded by developing Indiana’s Core Standards. The Core Standards highlight the essential skills so teachers can focus their efforts on ensuring students are prepared for the next grade level and higher-level content. Visit www.doe.in.gov/standards to learn more.
Differentiated Accountability: Last year, Indiana was selected as one of six states to participate in the U.S. Department of Education’s Differentiated Accountability Program pilot. The new federal program allows the state greater flexibility in targeting assistance to underperforming schools based on their level of need. Indiana now provides struggling schools with more help earlier, like hiring full-time literacy and math coaches, participating in the state’s reading and math academies, working with state support teams and training educators to use the new computer-based assessment tools. Schools that do not improve will face significant restructuring actions, including steps like replacing the school principal or other staff, extending the school day or year, closing the school and reopening as a charter school or contracting with a private management company to run the school. Visit www.doe.in.gov/TitleI/differentiated_accountability.html to learn more.
More about ISTEP+
ISTEP+ is given annually to approximately 500,000 students in grades 3-8. ISTEP+ offers a snapshot of student progress at a specific point in time, providing educators, students and parents with information they can use to identify specific strengths and areas of need at each grade level. Visit www.doe.in.gov/istep to learn more.
Ground rules for posting comments: No profanity or personal attacks. No racially charged comments. If it's not something you would say to someone's face, it's most likely inappropriate. Please comment on the subject of the story itself. If you do not follow these rules, we will remove your post. Repeat offenders will be banned from making future comments. Keep it civil, folks! WANE is not responsible for the content posted in this comment section.