The good news is, students in the majority of the area’s largest public school corporations did better on the ISTEP this year than last.
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The not-so-good news is that for some of those districts, that still means fewer than three or four out of every 10 third- through eighth-grader tested is not proficient in math and English.
The Indiana Department of Education released this year’s ISTEP scores this morning.
Across the state, more than 80 percent of students demonstrated proficiency on at least one of four subjects tested.
That’s a first-time accomplishment, according to a news release from the office of State schools Superintendent Tony Bennett.
Statewide, 81 percent of students tested passed the math portion, while 79 percent passed the English part.
Overall, 71 percent of students in the state passed both parts of the test, representing a 1 percent gain compared with last school year and an 8 percent uptick since 2009.
In South Bend schools, 58 percent of students passed both the English and math parts of the test this year compared with 53 percent last year.
The best news out of South Bend — the area’s largest school corporation — comes from Dickinson Intermediate Fine Arts Academy, which currently is in year four of academic probation. (State intervention is possible after six consecutive years in that category.)
Dickinson showed greater gains than any other middle school in the state with 26 percent more of its students passing both parts of the ISTEP this year than last.
Principal Tom Sims was expected to take part in a Statehouse recognition ceremony this morning. John Ritzler, director of research & evaluation for South Bend schools, stopped short of saying Dickinson, thanks to students’ improvement on the test, would exit academic probation for this school year.
Official Public Law 221 accountability determinations won’t be put out by the state until later this month or next month.
However, Ritzler said, the district has heard unofficially that the school will not remain in the lowest-performing category of the state’s rating system for this school year.
Across the county, students in the suburban district of Penn-Harris-Madison showed improvement in ISTEP scores this year, too.
Some 86 percent passed both the English and math parts of the test this year, compared with 82 percent last year.
School City of Mishawaka’s scores were flat this year, with 72 percent of students passing both English and math compared with 73 percent passing both sections last school year.
Dan Towner, executive director for curriculum and instruction for Mishawaka schools, said the district’s passing rates will likely go up once all of the students’ tests are scored.
A glitch in which many students tests at Twin Branch School were sent to the wrong address meant that their scores have not been counted toward the district totals yet.
Meanwhile, students in area charter schools showed improvement in test scores this year, as well.
At Xavier School of Excellence in South Bend, 53 percent of students passed both the English and math parts of the test this year, compared with 49 percent last year.
And at Veritas Academy, also in South Bend, 67 percent of students passed both English and math this year, which is an increase from 52 percent last year.
Some 36 percent of students at South Bend Career Academy, in its first year here, passed both parts of the test.
For more information and analysis of area ISTEP scores, be sure to check out Wednesday’s South Bend Tribune story.
Staff writer Kim Kilbride:
More ISTEP results
More detailed ISTEP results about all schools and school districts across Indiana will be available at www.doe.in.gov.
To help track down a local private school, look up the ID number in our 2012 ISTEP results chart for local private schools. That’s helpful since there are several schools with the same name, like “St. Joseph School.”
The results of some private schools don’t show up — either because the school chose not to give the test that year or because fewer than 10 students took the test.