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ISTEP Passing Rate Rises by One Percentage Point

Carmel, Zionsville tops in state; four turnaround schools bring up rear

75% of Hoosier students passed the 2014 ISTEP exam, a one-point improvement over the year before.

The Indiana Department of Education says passing rates reached 81% on the English portion of the test – that’s also a one-point improvement. The percentage passing the math portion of the test rose by half a point to 83.5%.

The three highest-scoring school corporations were unchanged from last year, with Carmel-Clay, Zionsville and West Lafayette all topping 92% passing rates. The three districts have occupied the three top spots in some order for six straight years.

Gary was the only full school system with more students failing the test than passing, with 52% of its students flunking English, math or both. Four schools handed over to private operators after years of poor performance – Gary Roosevelt High School, Arlington and Howe High Schools in Indianapolis, and Indy’s Donnan Middle School – did even worse, with four out of five Roosevelt students failing.

All four turnaround schools, as well as the Gary Community Schools, did improve on last year’s performance. So did the East Chicago and Medora Schools, which still rank in the state’s bottom five but nudged their passing rates past 50%.

The state’s fifth takeover school, Indy’s Manual High School, has no seventh or eighth graders and therefore does not take ISTEP.

The Indianapolis Public Schools edged up a fraction of a point to 52% passing, fourth-lowest in the state behind Gary, Frankfort and East Chicago. Three Marion County school districts – Franklin Township, Speedway and Beech Grove – outpaced the state average. The county’s seven other township school systems clustered between 64% and 72%.

Seven school districts topped 90% passing, including Brownsburg at 91%.

The Hamilton Southeastern and Westfield-Washington schools posted the 13th and 16th-highest passing rates among public school systems, at 88% and 87%.

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