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All public schools in Elkhart County raise ISTEP scores

ISTEP tests students in English/language arts, math, social studies and science.

Posted on Aug. 4, 2014 at 7:33 a.m.

Every public school district in Elkhart County raised its ISTEP scores in 2014.

The district that improved its scores the most was Middlebury, with 79.9 percent of Middlebury students passing the ISTEP this year compared with 77.7 passing in 2013.

Concord improved its scores just slightly, going from 69.6 percent of students passing in 2013 to 69.7 percent passing in 2014.

The ISTEP tests students in grades 3 through 8 on math and English/language arts each year. The test also evaluates the science knowledge of students in grades 4 and 6 and the social studies skills of students in grades 5 and 7.

The test was administered in the spring and the Indiana Department of Education released the scores Monday, Aug. 4.

ISTEP is intended to determine how much Indiana students know and how well schools and teachers are doing in teaching students what they need to know.

Teachers and students will face a completely new ISTEP in spring 2015, one that will evaluate how well students are learning Indiana’s new state standards adopted in April.

Here’s how Elkhart County’s public schools did on the 2014 ISTEP:

Baugo: Baugo passed 68 percent of students, compared to 67.6 percent in 2013. Students’ English/language arts scores were higher than the previous year, but math scores went down.

Concord: 69.7 percent, compared to 69.6 percent in 2013. Students’ English/language arts scores improved, but math scores went down. Concord students also raised their science scores.

Bryan Waltz, Concord’s test coordinator, said the district likes to examine its ISTEP results by student cohorts. That means school officials compare the 2013 third grade to the 2014 fourth grade, rather than comparing one year’s third-grade students to the next year’s third-grade students, for example.

He reported that three of the corporation’s student cohorts improved their performance in 2014 in language arts and math.

Each of Concord’s schools has already developed an improvement plan based on preliminary test data released in May.

Elkhart: 64.7 percent, compared to 63.5 percent in 2013. Students improved in English/language arts, math, science and social studies.

Shawn Hannon, spokeswoman for Elkhart Community Schools, said Elkhart families can be proud of students’ academic successes.

“Students’ ISTEP scores continued to improve over prior years’ scores, helping to allow many schools to cross the 90 percent passing point,” she added.

Fairfield: 81.6 percent, compared to 80.9 percent in 2013. Students’ English/language arts scores improved but math scores went down. Students’ science scores went up as well.

Goshen: 61 percent, compared to 59.6 percent in 2013. Students improved their math scores but English/language arts scores dipped slightly. Science and social studies scores improved since 2013.

Superintendent Diane Woodworth said school administrators are happy with the overall improvements in math, even though more work is needed to improve English/language arts.

Middlebury: 79.9 percent, compared to 77.7 percent in 2013. Students improved in math, English/language arts and social studies.

"We are pleased with our ISTEP results this year,“ said Middlebury superintendent Jane Allen. ”All of our students and staff strive to be successful and their work shows in the scores. We also showed improvement percentage of students passing in almost every grade level and subject.“

Wa-Nee: 84.7 percent, compared to 82.6 percent in 2013. Students improved in math, English/language arts, science and social studies.

Representatives of Baugo, Fairfield and Wa-Nee were not immediately available to comment on the ISTEP scores.

PRIVATE SCHOOLS

Clinton Christian: Clinton passed 90.6 percent of students, compared to 87.1 percent in 2013.

St. Thomas: 92 percent, compared to 94.5 percent in 2013.

St. Vincent: 59 percent, compared to 45.6 percent in 2013.

Elkhart Christian: 81.5 percent, compared to 82.2 percent in 2013.

The Crossing: 30.8 percent, compared to 22.2 percent in 2013.

Bethany Christian: 75 percent, compared to 76.8 percent in 2013.

St. John: 74.5 percent, compared to 72.7 percent in 2013.

Follow reporter Lydia Sheaks on Twitter at @LydiaSheaks.




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