INDIANAPOLIS, IN (WAVE)- Indiana's students earned another year of record breaking scores on the Indiana Statewide Testing for Education Progress Plus (ISTEP+), State Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Tony Bennett announced Tuesday. Educators from top performing schools across the state joined him in at a Statehouse recognition ceremony, celebrating the third successive year of all-time highs on every portion of the test.
"Hoosiers from all walks of life should greet this news with a standing ovation," Dr. Bennett said. "More students are getting a world class education in our schools. Thanks to the efforts of Indiana's great teachers, we're successfully educating a new generation of leaders and innovators who will build a more prosperous future for our state."
Overall, 71 percent of Hoosier students passed both the English Language Arts and Math portions of the test during the 2011-2012 school year; a 1% gain on the previous school year and an 8% gain since the 2008-2009 school year.
For the first time, more than 80% of students demonstrated proficiency on at least one of the four subjects tested. The percentage of students passing the Math portion of the test reached 81%, a 2% increase over the previous school year and a 9% uptick since the 2008-2009 school year.
Students recorded a pass rate of 79% on the E/LA portion of the test, 71% on the Science section of the exam, and 69% on the Social Studies segment of the assessment. The pass rates for all subject areas represent improvements over the previous school year and gains of at least eight total percentage points since 2008-2009.
The Columbus Signature Academy Fodrea Campus in Columbus showed the highest gains in the percentage of students passing the E/LA and Math portions of the ISTEP+.
Another high-performing school attending today's gathering took extra satisfaction from its impressive results in 2011-2012. Dickinson Fine Arts Academy in South Bend showed greater gains than any other middle school in the state.
"With state intervention a near certainty, our students, families and staff vowed that we would no longer be anyone's underdog," Dickinson Principal Thomas Sims said. "Today, Dickinson's children have made good on that promise.
Dickinson's gains come after spending four consecutive years in the lowest category ("F") of school performance based on the state's accountability system. Schools that remain in the lowest category for six consecutive years are subject to state intervention, but Dickinson's gains mean the school's grade will rise significantly this year.
"Turning around our lowest performing schools has been a top priority from day one," Dr. Bennett said. "I'm so proud of Dickinson's inspirational story and all of the schools that have partnered with their communities to drive effective school improvement plans these last few years. The students in these schools have a brighter future today because of these efforts."
Upon taking office, Dr. Bennett set a statewide goal of a 90% pass rate on both portions of the exam. This year, 85 schools reached the 90% threshold in both subjects, up from 75 schools in 2010-2011.