FWCS eyes ISTEP trends - December 14, 2005
Up, down and unchanged - there is no “one word” to describe Fort Wayne Community Schools’ 2005 ISTEP results. But, a deeper look is revealing trends the district can tie into to improve student performance in the future. Here are some examples: -Elmhurst High School’s math department last year worked very, very hard with the district’s math curriculum coordinator to make sure what they were teaching was aligned directly to state math standards. They implemented a “pacing chart” that all math faculty follow that makes sure each classroom has covered all of the necessary materials during the school year. Elmhurst students’ GQE ISTEP results are up a whopping six points this year! - Four elementary schools that piloted the Everyday Math textbook and teaching practices several years ago saw double-digit increased in their math scores. The textbook was adopted and is only beginning its second year to be used district-wide. It is part of the Indiana Math Initiative’s push to drive up student understanding of mathematics. - Adams Elementary School students from third- to fourth-grade and fourth- to fifth-grade are improving their ISTEP scores by 5 percent! That number is significant because it is measuring, for the most part, the same students - and finding that they are continuing to improve. The district will be looking at practices in place at that school to see how they may be applied to others. “We are seeing many examples of practices that are having a positive impact on student achievement,” said Superintendent Dr. Wendy Robinson. “We know it will take time, but we also know that we will reach our goal of success for all students that we have set out in our Strategic Plan.” For the first time, this year FWCS has set out an aggressive agenda of meetings with principals to provide customized, one-on-one assistance in interpreting their ISTEP results. The district’s School Improvement Systems director John Kline and staff will assist them in using their results from ISTEP and FWCS Quarterly tests to develop strategies to help improve student achievement. These meetings will continue throughout the school year and are intended to assist principals and teacher teams in their buildings to not only analyze scores but to improve instructional practices where needed to increase student learning.