The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Local Education

September 19, 2013

Local schools post generally improved ISTEP scores

ANDERSON — Most Madison County schools fared better than last year in the annual ISTEP scores.

Anderson schools experienced dips — except for Tenth Street Elementary and Highland Middle schools. Overall, 84.7 percent of the district’s students passed both the math and English/language arts elements. In 2012, the district had 58.1 percent passing rate.

This year’s result rated slightly higher than Alexandria’s 82 percent or Elwood’s 82.2 percent although both had fewer students taking the test. The Frankton-Lapel district posted a 71.9 percent passing in both tests with South Madison registering a 77.7 percent passing rate.

Private schools showed mostly positive signs.

When Indiana Anderson Christian Academy administered the ISTEP test last year for the first time since accepting vouchers, students teachers didn’t know quite what to expect, said school Administrator Kevin Plew. The school’s combined pass rate of 63.6 percent, although disappointing, wasn’t surprising.

He said students seeing the test for the first time were not aware of some of the testing methods, particularly the essay questions on the English part of the exam.

“I think a lot of our students were anticipating multiple-choice questions, and that probably threw them some,” Plew said.

Plew believes next year’s results will be better because when the test was administered this spring, teachers prepared by emphasizing the use of essay questions more. Students at the school did much better on the math portion of the test with pass rate of 82.1 percent.

The overall pass rate at Anderson Christian School was 84.6 percent.

“As a gauge of achievement, the overall pass rate of 84.9 percent shows that Anderson Christian Academy is meeting the needs of the students who passed,” said Tom Snell, school administrator.

He said 37 students enrolled in grades three through eight took the ISTEP tests last year out of a total enrollment of 170 students.

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