2018 ISTEP Scores Show Slight Decline, Little Improvement

Oct 3, 2018

Officials have finally released results for the state’s standardized test, the ISTEP, after grading issues postponed their publication last month.

The results, approved by the State Board of Education at its October meeting, show little to no improvement in English Language Arts (ELA) compared to last year, with more significant decreases in passing rates in science and social studies.

About the same percentage of students in grades 3 through 8 passed the math and ELA sections of ISTEP, at 50.7 percent. Hoosier 10th graders also maintained a similar passing rate in the same subjects compared to last year at 33.7 percent.

Despite the similar rates, data shows ISTEP scores overall have declined by a fraction of a percent each year over the past three years. In 2015 around 53 percent of students passed the math and ELA portions of the exam.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick says overall, she’s not too upset by the results.

“Given that we changed the mode of testing I was very pleased with where we are because any time you ask a school to change from paper pencil to computer – and some are going back and forth – it does impact things,” McCormick says.

Passing rates did improve by around two percent for Indiana’s eighth graders in ELA, and third graders in math. But in social studies and science, the rate of students passing declined by about 5 percent each.

Officials at the Indiana Department of Education say it isn’t clear why passing rates in science and social studies saw such a significant decrease compared to last year.

Statewide, Brownsburg Community Schools had the highest passing percentage of third through eighth graders in math and ELA at 83 percent.

The state moves to a new standardized exam, the ILEARN this spring, but 10th graders will continue taking the ISTEP for end of course exams until 2022.

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