Vigo County school officials analyze ILEARN scores compared to other districts

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VIGO Co., Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Vigo County school officials took a closer look at their ILEARN test scores Wednesday.

“We’re pleased to find out this year that in 14 out of the 15 tested areas, that we’re in the top three in the Indiana Urban Schools Association,” said Bill Riley of Vigo County School Corporation.

Overall, state scores for the Indiana Learning Evaluation and Readiness Network Test were below average.

“Only three areas of all the 15 tested areas at the state level were at 50% passing,” said Dr. Karen Goeller, deputy superintendent of Vigo County Schools.

Vigo County School Corporation students finished near the top among peers in most of the test areas, with an average of 43% passing for English and 44% passing in math.

Before scores were released, Governor Eric Holcomb and Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Jennifer McCormick warned about low test numbers due to several reasons, including cut scores, which are numbers that indicate proficiency set by the state.

“Given the difficulty of the test content as well as the unrealistic cut scores, the governor and the superintendent are cautioning families all across Indiana that the test scores will be extremely low,” Dr. Goeller said.

According to Vigo County officials, preparing students ahead of time with practice tests leads to their success.

“Twice prior to ILEARN, they are exposed to a computer-adaptive test they do in reading…writing and math. They’re actually doing that this week for the next four weeks,” said John Newport, curriculum coordinator for Vigo County School Corporation.

Teachers also get prepared through professional development workshops.

“They’ll look at the data for their class. We’ll do the first ones after our first testing window so they can see the data as its live. Come to the workshop, break the data down, and then be able to incorporate it in their lessons throughout the school year,” Newport said.

Scores have been sent home to parents and school officials say the the numbers should be looked at as an opportunity.

“While it’s maybe a frustration of what the score is, let’s look at where our successes were and let’s look at where we can continue to grow and then continue to have those discussions together as a team between teachers and parents and schools and parents,” Newport said.

Vigo County school officials said fourth and sixth grade science and fifth grade social studies continue to be strengths.

Governor Holcomb and state superintendent McCormick have called for ‘hold harmless’ legislation that would keep these scores from impacting teacher evaluations and student letter grades.

To view the Spring 2019 ILEARN results, visit:  www.doe.in.gov/accountability/find-school-and-corporation-data-reports

To learn more about ILEARN, as well as available resources for families and educators, visit: www.doe.in.gov/assessment/ilearn.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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