State releases ISTEP scores - December 14, 2005
This release is from the Indiana Department of Education. More detailed ISTEP+ information is available on their web site at www.doe.state.in.us/istep, including data for each corporation/school. Statewide ISTEP+ Results Show Gains in Math; Modest Improvement in English/Language Arts and Science Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress-Plus (ISTEP+) results showed student scores improving or remaining level at all grades tested in 2005, Superintendent of Public Instruction Suellen Reed announced today. ISTEP+ results provide an essential opportunity to see how well Indiana students are measuring up to our state's academic standards, said Dr. Reed. Statewide math scores improved nearly across the board this year, but we did not see similar gains with respect to English/language arts. Out of the eight grades tested, statewide math pass rates improved at six grades while English/language arts scores improved at three grades. Scores at the remaining grade levels were unchanged compared to a year ago. Statewide passing rates for both sections of the Grade 10 Graduation Qualifying Exam (GQE) were unchanged from 2004. There were no statewide decreases at any grade or subject in 2005. The ISTEP+ results are consistent with Indiana's performance on the 2005 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), known as the Nation's Report Card. Despite outscoring the national average on NAEP in both mathematics and reading, Indiana was part of a nationwide trend of steady gains in mathematics with relatively stagnant reading scores. ISTEP+ was administered to approximately 700,000 Hoosier students in Grades 3-10 in English/language arts and mathematics this year. Science assessments were administered at Grades 5 and 7 as well. Mathematics: Indiana's math scores improved in Grades 4 through 9 over last year, while scores remained unchanged at Grades 3 and 10. Math passing rates ranged from a high of 78 percent at Grade 6 to a low of 64 percent at Grade 10. The largest overall one-year gain in math occurred at Grade 5 with a four percentage point increase over 2004. Every statewide percentage point increase represents about 800 more students passing ISTEP+, which means over 10,000 more students passed the math assessments this year, said Dr. Reed. Gains made by student ethnic groups in mathematics outpaced that of the overall student population in 2005. Math passing rates improved across all ethnic groups, excluding a two percentage point drop by Hispanic students at Grade 3. Hispanic students' passing rates did improve at all other grade levels. Math passing rates for Black students improved at six grades and were unchanged at the remaining two grades. Black students also recorded the largest one-year gain among all ethnic groups with a seven percentage point increase at Grade 7.
Gaps in math achievement still remain, but we are seeing encouraging signs that those gaps are beginning to narrow, said Dr. Reed. It is only by eliminating these gaps earlier that students can reach their full potential. Students from low-income families (Free- and Reduced Price-Meals) made improvements across all grades. The largest gain among these students came at Grade 5 where scores showed a five percentage point increase over the previous year. Passing rates for special education students also improved at all but one grade level, with the highest gain (five percentage points) occurring at Grade 5. English/Language Arts: English/language arts passing rates improved by one percentage point at Grades 5, 6, and 8 with scores remaining the same as 2004 at the other five grade levels (Grades 3, 4, 7, 9, and 10). Statewide passing rates on the English/language arts assessments ranged from a high of 75 percent at Grade 3 to a low of 67 percent at Grade 9. Passing rates improved or remained stable across all student ethnic groups except for a two percentage point decrease by Hispanics at Grade 3. Black students made gains at six of the eight grades tested, the largest improvement being a three percentage point increase at Grade 3. Though we can point to some areas of improvement, we clearly have some serious work to do in the area of English/language arts, said Dr. Reed. Science: Grade 5 science passing rates increased to 64 percent this year, an improvement of two percentage points over 2004. Statewide Grade 5 science passing rates made slight gains across student subgroups, including socio-economic status (Free- and Reduced Price-Meals), ethnicity, and special education. Results for the Grade 7 science assessment will be available in March 2006 following a passing score-setting process. A group of master science teachers from across Indiana will propose the passing scores based on a correlation of the Grade 5 science assessment. The resulting recommendation will be presented to the Education Roundtable in January 2006. The Roundtable's recommendations will be forwarded to the Indiana State Board of Education for final action in February. Once passing scores are set, the Grade 7 science results will be returned to school corporations with a statewide release to the public/media to follow shortly thereafter. What's Next: The Indiana Department of Education will continue to delve deeper into ISTEP+ data to find information that can assist educators in the areas of curriculum, instruction, and assessment. The data also will be used to determine Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for corporations/schools next year as required by the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).