By: Liz Gelardi
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The hallways of Sidener Academy were filled with the sound of students excited to be back at school. Monday was the first day of school for more than 30,000 students who attend Indianapolis Public Schools.
"As with every school year our expectations are that we grow from where we have been, we don't settle for what we've done and where we've been but where we can go and what we can accomplish with the kids that we have here at school," said Tennille Wallace, Principal of Sidener Academy.
The school welcomed back students the same day educators learned ISTEP scores from last year showed a 100% passing rate at Sidener. The overall picture of Indianapolis Public Schools showed a wide range of scores, some as low as 30.5% for both portions of the test.
IPS, in its first year under Superintendent Dr. Lewis Ferebee, showed very slight gains. 51.6% of students passed the English/Language Arts and Math sections of the test, up from 51.3% last year.
"We are concerned about our middle schools just as we are concerned about a number of other grade levels where we didn't see the performance we'd like to have," said Dr. Lewis Ferebee.
Overall, 80.7% of Indiana students passed the English/Language Arts portion of the test, up from 79.5% in 2013. In Math, 83.5% passed. That’s up from 83.0% in 2013.
In total, 74.7% of Indiana students passed both parts of the test. That’s up one percent from 73.7% last year.
The ISTEP+ test is undergoing changes, after Indiana threw out national Common Core in favor of its own set of college and career ready standards. The 2015 test will be modified to fit the newest standards and in spring of 2016, students will take an entirely new test. That test is still under development.