The new standardized testing given to the freshmen last year resulted in scores similar to ISTEP but far better than schools across the state.
“ILearn is the new test to replace ISTEP because ISTEP has been unsuccessful for a couple of decades,” Mr. Bill Ronk, guidance director, said.
The scores gathered from the Biology test last year have been similar to the results shown in the past. Not only did we scored above the state average, but our scores compared to other nearby schools were also the same as they typically are.
“Greenwood had 54 percent pass and we were just behind Center Grove. We are normally right behind them, so these results are pretty typical,” Mr. Ronk said.
Although students have taken standardized tests for many years, there is really no reason for students to take them.
“They are still going to ask schools to take a test so they can be held accountable based on these other factors, however is it being debated right now whether or not we need one test to determine if a whole school is accountable for how they teach,” Mr. Todd Garrison, principal, said.
The tests do not impact students as much as they do the whole school, so it is difficult for students to want to try hard and do good for their school. Additionally, some standardized tests do not need to be passed in order to graduate from high school. This is because of the new graduation pathway.
“The department of education, the governor’s office, and the legislature have no idea how to close the achievement gaps and have no idea how to improve student outcomes. They have to make it appear that they are doing something so they create new regulations and new tests. It is harmful to students and a waste, but it makes them look like they are doing something so we keep following them,” Mr. Ronk said.
The most useful part of taking the test is that the data given can be analyzed and then used to help teachers improve the way they teach their students.
“We use the scores and try to dig deeper into what the scores really show and maybe see some content areas where we need to improve upon. It also shows what we are doing well in,” Mr. Garrison said.
There are many ways that teachers are using this data.
“Every year we evaluate how the kids do. Last year’s test was much different test than in the years past. It had a lot more general knowledge and data analysis questions, so we are really focusing on that. There were also several drop and drag questions, so we are going to try and incorporate more of those in online activities,” Mrs. Andrea Campbell, biology teacher, said.