State releases ILEARN results showing significant drop

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The state released ILEARN testing results Wednesday, which show lower achievement levels across the state in language arts and math.

Fewer than half of Indiana students met expected achievement standards in either discipline. The results released Wednesday showed 47.9% of students in grades 3-8 were proficient in language arts while 47.8% were proficient in math. The numbers were 64.6% for language arts and 58.9% for math under ISTEP+ last year.

The state’s final figures showed only 37.1% of students passed both language arts and math standards. For ISTEP+, 50.7% of students passed both portions of the test.

You can find the numbers below:

The Indiana Department of Education said last week that scores for the ILEARN (Indiana Learning Evaluation and Readiness) would dip compared to ISTEP+ results last year.

Gov. Holcomb has asked the legislature to hold schools harmless for the low scores since this is the first year for the test. State Superintendent Dr. Jennifer McCormick supported the governor’s position, saying school accountability grades and teacher evaluations shouldn’t be tied to this year’s scores.

The state expected a decline in overall scores for the test, which was designed to focus on rigorous college-and-career readiness (CCR) standards.

“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,” McCormick said in a statement.

“With this in mind, the Department will propose the following legislative actions: place a ‘hold harmless’ year on 2017-2018 letter grades, pause intervention timelines for all schools, and provide the State Board of Education with emergency rulemaking authority to review and reestablish the state accountability system. The success and wellbeing of our schools and educators is dependent upon these actions.”

The General Assembly mandated ILEARN in 2017 as a replacement for ISTEP+. It 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.”

During a meeting Wednesday, the State Board of Education decided it will not issue A-F letter grades until the General Assembly takes up the governor’s request. In a statement, the group said the Board will hold a special meeting to assign school letter grades after the state legislature has taken action.

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