ISTEP scores released today by the state indicate a double-digit decline in the passing percentage over last year. In 2013-14, 74 percent of public school students across Indiana passed both the English/Language Arts and Math standardized tests. The 2014-15 scores indicate only 52-percent of public school students made the grade on both tests. Both percentages are slightly higher when private and charter school students are factored in.
The test administered last spring was considered more challenging, and educators have been saying for months the scores would reflect accordingly. State lawmakers are now looking for ways to shield school corporations and teachers from the drop in scores. Momentum is growing to scrap the test entirely and come up with another means of student assessment.
Area schools followed the trend of sharp declines in test scores. In Starke County, Oregon-Davis scores were down more than 13 percent over last year. Knox scores slid by more than 24 percent, and N.J.-S.P. test scores plunged by more than 28 percent compared to 2014.
Test scores also tumbled in Pulaski County. Eastern Pulaski is down more than 21 percent, and West Central posted a decline of more than 25 percent over 2014. The Culver Community School Corporation’s drop of 32.5 percent is the sharpest in the area. Only 44.8 percent of students there passed both the English/Language Arts and Math tests.
ISTEP scores for the Tri-Township School Corporation also plunged by more than 31 percent compared to 2014, while South Central saw a skid of more than 27 percent.
By the numbers, Eastern Pulaski and South Central were the only corporations with passing percentages higher than the state average, with 63.8 and 56.1 percent respectively.