DCCS superintendent talks ILEARN results

ILEARN test results were released earlier this week for all Indiana schools.

GREENSBURG — ILEARN results have been released by the Indiana Department of Education.

As previously reported by the Daily News, according to the IDOE, mandated during the 2017 legislative session, ILEARN was created to serve as a replacement for ISTEP+. ILEARN assesses CCR content standards in English/language arts and mathematics in grades 3-8, science in grades 4 and 6, high school biology, social studies in grade 5, and U.S. Government in high school.

For English/Language Arts, South Decatur Jr./Sr. High School had a 46.8 percent proficiency rating, and South Decatur Elementary School had a 40.5 percent proficiency rating.

At North Decatur Jr./Sr. High School, the school received a 63.9 percent proficiency rating in English/Language Arts, and North Decatur Elementary School received a 55.5 percent proficiency rating for that section.

For the Mathematics portion of the test, SDHS received a 35.7 percent proficiency rating, and SDES received a 51.2 percent proficiency rating.

NDHS received a 46.8 percent proficiency rating in Mathematics, and NDES received a 67.8 percent proficiency rating.

At SDHS, 32.5 percent received a proficiency rating in both English/Language Arts and Mathematics, 33.3 percent at SDES, 41.8 percent at NDHS and 51 percent at NDES.

For the Science portion, 54 percent of students at SDES were proficient, and 56.4 percent of students at NDES were proficient.

Finally, for Social Studies, the proficiency rate at SDES was 50.7 percent, and the proficiency rate at NDES was 64.1 percent.

Decatur County Community Schools Superintendent Dr. Jarrod Burns said even though they had scores that were above average, the dips were noticed.

“We’re not happy with our scores even though they were above the state average,” Burns said.

Similar to Greensburg Community School Corporation Superintendent Tom Hunter, Burns agrees with pursuing legislative action.

In the last week, the IDOE has made sure to let the public know the scores for the new test would be lower. The department stated in a news release that when compared to past ISTEP+ scores, ILEARN indicated lower achievement levels across the state in both English/language arts and mathematics.

The department added that while performance dips to some degree were expected, the combination of the rigors associated with this newly aligned CCR assessment, national normative data, and the defined established performance cuts all contributed to the lower performance levels. With the negative impact assessment results have on educators, schools, districts, and communities, IDOE will advocate for responsive legislative action.

That proposed legislative action pertains to placing a hold harmless year on 2018-2019 letter grades, pausing intervention timelines for all schools, and providing the State Board of Education with emergency rulemaking authority to review and reestablish the state accountability system.

By holding harmless, test scores would not have an adverse impact on teacher evaluations and school letter grades for the 2018-2019 school year.

“Hold harmless is the way to go since this is so new,” Burns said. “There’s mass confusion across the state since scores were down.”

For the state as a whole, 47.9 percent of students were proficient in English/Language Arts, 47.8 percent were proficient in Mathematics, 37.1 percent were proficient in both English/Language Arts and Mathematics, 47.4 percent were proficient in Science and 46 percent were proficient in Social Studies.

“While the 2019 ILEARN results do not provide a true reflection of the performance of Indiana’s schools, they do once again show us the importance of developing a modernized state legislated accountability system that is fair, accurate, and transparent,” State Superintendent Dr. Jennifer McCormick said.

This was the second of a two part series on ILEARN results. The first story focused on Greensburg Community Schools.

Contact: Joshua Heath, 812-663-3111 x217401; joshua.heath@greensburgdailynews.com

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