ISTEP scores in Wells County above state averages

July 11th, 2012

News Coverage:

ISTEP scores here above state averages

July 11, 2012 — By CHET BAUMGARTNER

More students in each of the counties’ seven public elementary and middle schools passed the ISTEP test this past school year than in the year before, according to data released by the Indiana Department of Education Tuesday.

Also, the data reports that all Wells County’s public schools’ rates surpassed the state average.

Parents who want to know individual scores, though, will need to go to Parents should have received, from their students’ schools, letters containing secure ISTEP Parent Network login information.

Furthermore, when broken down by grades, all grades in the seven schools, except for the eighth grade class at Bluffton Middle School, surpassed 70 percent, with some grades surpassing 90 percent.

“Hoosiers from all walks of life should greet this news with a standing ovation,” said Tony Bennett, superintendent of public instruction, in a release. “More students are getting a world class education in our schools. Thanks to the efforts of Indiana’s great teachers, we’re successfully educating a new generation of leaders and innovators who will build a more prosperous future for our state.”

The data states that 77.9 percent of Southern Wells Junior-Senior High School students passed the test in 2011-2012, compared to 70.6 percent in 2010-2011. At the elementary school, 86.2 percent of students passed this year while 82 percent passed last year.

At Lancaster Central Elementary, 88.6 percent passed this year, compared to 87.1 last year. At Ossian Elementary, 79 percent passed this year and 74.4 percent passed previously. Also, 80.5 percent of Norwell Middle School student passed this year, with 76.3 percent passing last year

Finally, at Bluffton-Harrison Elementary School, 79.8 percent passed this year as opposed to 71.3 percent passed last year, while 89 percent passed at the middle school, earning one of the state’s best rate of gains over the past year, the Associated Press reports.

“We are certainly very pleased with the results of our students and teachers in grades three through eighth,” said Bluffton Superintendent Wayne Barker. “To see the growth from last year to this year was significant, and we’re thrilled by it.

“The credit belongs where the credit is due: with the teachers and students. Our entire staff has been very intentional with our students.”

Barker also mentioned the new assessments such as accuity and mClass.

Overall, DOE officials state, 71 percent of the 500,000 students who took the test passed both portions of it, a percent gain over the previous year and an 8 percent gain since the 2008-2009 school year.

The data also allows parents, educators and more to analyze student performances by grade level, socioeconomic status and learning capabilities, such as students with special needs.

Traditionally, school officials discuss their building’s performances during school board meetings, and often the statistics help form specific learning policies for the upcoming school year.