Students in the West Lafayette Community School Corporation earned a 91.1% passing rate on both portions of this year’s ISTEP exam. That’s third best in the state, behind Carmel Clay Schools and Zionsville. The rate is 78.5% for the Tippecanoe School Corporation and 75% for the Lafayette School Corporation.
Statewide, 73.5% of students passed both English and math portions of the ISTEP. The data shows 79.5% of Hoosier students passed the English portion of the test and 82.7% passed the math part. That's an improvement from 79.4% for English and 81.2% for math in 2012.
The release of the scores means schools can finally submit final teacher evaluation scores to the state. Usually Indiana schools get ISTEP results by early June, a few weeks after students take the standardized test. But after errors on testing company CTB/McGraw Hill’s servers booted some 79,000 Indiana students out of online exams this spring, state education officials brought in an expert for an outside review of the results.
The Center for Assessment’s Richard Hill concluded the interruptions had no noticeable impact on student’s scores. But they did have a noticeable impact on when schools got those scores.
"Finally some folks can get their evaluations," says Teresa Meredith, president of the Indiana State Teachers Association. "Teachers are still waiting in some places for their evaluations from last year. So that can finally be closed."
The 2012-13 school year was the first for state-mandated teacher evaluations. But because the new law requires schools use student growth data to rate teachers, many districts were waiting on ISTEP results to issue final ratings.
State Superintendent Glenda Ritz says she asked schools to work with teachers to reduce the impact of test score data on last year’s evaluation, which Meredith says most districts have done. But some State Board of Education members felt Ritz acted prematurely and should have waited for final results before issuing any guidance to schools.