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Monday, May 2, 2016

CCS learns ISTEP results

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Results are in for Clay Community Schools and the state on the standardized ISTEP+ tests.

As a corporation, 69.6 percent of students, across all grades, passed the English/language arts test, and 72 percent of students passed the math portion of the exam.

The tests were administered beginning Sept. 18, and tested basic skills of students in the third- through 10th-grades.

The results were released to the public Wednesday by the Indiana Department of Education.

The most successful grade level in the corporation was fifth-grade, where 71 percent of students passed or "passed +" both tests. Fifth-grade students totaled the highest percentage of students who passed + both tests (6 percent) and the lowest number of students who did not pass either test (12 percent).

Connie Cook, principal at Forest Park Elementary School, said there were "no real surprises this year."

Forest Park students in grade three had a passing rate of 69 percent for both tests, 89 percent passed the English/language arts test and 74 percent of the youngest test-takers passed the math exam.

Karen Phillips at Meridian said teachers will be working at an in-service in January to look at individual scores.

"We take a look at every individual child to make sure they are progressing."

Phillips said they will also take a closer look at special needs students, and where they can make modifications in helping the students complete the ISTEP+ within state guidelines.

Jon Russell at Clay City Elementary School was pleased with his student's work, especially in improvement from last year's scores, but found some of the data concerning.

Russell said fifth- and sixth-graders improved on both tests.

The largest jump in scores came at the third-grade level, where students jumped 25 percent in scores, from 53 percent passing to 78 percent on the English/language arts test.

Sixth-grade math also saw a 10 percent increase in math pass rates, from 81 percent to 91 percent of students passing.

Clay City third-graders were expected to have a 72-percent pass rate on the math test, but only 52 percent of students passed the test.

Clay City Elementary, as well as other elementary schools in the corporation, uses NWEA testing done earlier in the year to track students' progress and project ISTEP+ scores.

"It was a huge red flag for us," Russell said.

Teachers are breaking down the data to find the cause of the scoring.

"It would be nice if there was a specific cause for the drop," Russell said.

Clay City Elementary was not the only school to see unusual scoring in the third-grade math test. Jeff Fritz at Jackson Township and Gail Williams at Van Buren Elementary also reported lower than normal pass-rates for the third grade (61 percent and 48 percent respectively).

Williams found it especially strange, as the students who tested in third-grade last year had a 20 percent higher pass-rate in grade four.

"The teachers work so hard we just need to tweak some things," Williams said.

Fritz found third-grade scores alarming because students at Jackson Township had also done very well on the NWEA test.

Students had high pass rates in both tests in fourth- and fifth-grade at Jackson Township, including 90 percent of fifth-graders passing the English/language arts test.

At the middle school level, North Clay Principal Jeff Allen said his students did well.

"Some were down, some were status quo, so we were across the board. There's always room for improvement," he said.

Sixty percent or more of each grade passed both tests, and 81 percent of sixth-graders passed the English/language arts test.

Allen said the school limits distractions during test week, including assigning no homework and no extra-curricular contests.

Students who did well on ISTEP+ will be recognized in the spring at a celebration.

A school improvement committee met Wednesday to break down the test data.

Clay City Jr./Sr. High School had a range of 53 percent of eighth-graders passing both tests to 63 percent of freshmen passing both tests.

Northview High School saw 52 percent of freshmen and 50 percent of sophomores pass both math and English/language arts.

Students in grade 10 tested 3 percent better in English/language arts and two percent decrease in math passing-rates from their scores as freshmen.

A remediation program saw results for about half of the students who attended.

Nine remediate students who attended English 10 sessions passed (out of 17), and half of the 36 students who attended sophomore math remediate classes passed. Eight students participated in a math study skills class, and five passed.

Overall, students in Indiana saw increases in scores from 2006 testing.

Eighth- and ninth-grade math scores increased 3 percent, and seventh- and eighth-grade English scores jumped 2percent.

Eighty percent of students in grade six passed the math portion, and 75 percent of third- and fifth-graders passed English, representing the highest pass-rates of any grade.

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