ISTEP scores plateau in third year of harder test

By Adrianna Pitrelli

INDIANAPOLIS — For the third year, state data shows roughly half of students passing ISTEP.

Statewide, 51.5 percent of students in grades 3-8 passed both the English and math portions of the test. In 2016, 51.6 percent passed both portions.

The 2017 test was the third year with the more rigorous standards. The first year of the new test saw a dip in test scores from the previous years as 53.5 percent passed both sections in 2015. Legislators voted to prevent the low 2015 ISTEP scores from negatively affecting educators, but test scores have not recovered in the following years. Education leaders have said teachers and students need time to adjust to new standards and assessments.

Indiana schools will administer the current test for one more year before switching to the replacement, ILEARN, in 2019. ILEARN is expected to be a shorter test with faster results but is still in creation.

As for the 2017 test, 65.2 percent of third- through eighth-graders passed the English Language Arts portion, compared to the 66.1 percent in the previous year. For math, 58.5 percent passed, just .4 percent lower than 2016.

In Grade 10, 60.7 percent passed English Language Arts, compared to the 59 percent that passed in 2016. Math scores for 10th graders saw improvement from 34.6 percent in 2016 to 36.9 percent in 2017.

To see specific data on a school, click here.

Adrianna Pitrelli is a reporter for, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.


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