LOGANSPORT — Logansport Community School Corporation has seen its English/language arts scores rise for the fourth straight year and its math scores take a slight decline, according to ISTEP results reported to the school board Monday.
Each spring, third- through eighth-graders take the state standardized tests.
“Overall, it’s nice to see that when we look at the corporation and we look at where we’re going, the steady improvement that we’ve shown over the past several years,” said Michele Starkey, superintendent of the corporation. “Third grade language art scores are very high. Fifth grade math very strong.”
About 83 percent of third graders passed language arts and 76 percent of those same students passed the math portion. In fifth grade, 71 percent passed language arts while 78 percent passed math.
In fourth grade, however, about 74 percent of students passed language arts, while only 63 percent passed math.
“Fourth grade math scores are a concern to look at,” Starkey said. “Kind of what happened there? Normally you don’t see that big of a disparity between math scores and language arts scores within the same grade. So we’ll take some time, dig deeper into there and see what’s going on.”
Sixth-grade results show 75 percent passing language arts and about 71 percent passing the math. Seventh-and eighth-grade language arts and math passing percentages range from as low as 68 percent in eighth-grade language arts to as high as 71 percent in eighth-grade math and seventh-grade language arts.
Starkey points to what is referred to as the “brain drain” in seventh- and eighth-grades where students begin to turn off learning.
“I think we see some of that here,” she said. “I wish I could figure out the answer ... but I don’t know the answer. It’s just keep plugging away and being focused on those standards.”
Curriculum director Jackie Danhauser said she was pleased with writing scores, which reached as high as a 93 percent passing in eighth-grade with 40 students getting perfect scores.
“We’ve had the Simple Six program in place for quite a long time,” she said of the writing program. “That’s not the only element to those perfect scores, but that’s certainly the process that got us started.”
The number passing the writing portion of ISTEP was 76 percent in third grade, 71 percent in fourth grade, 82 percent in fifth grade, 89 percent in sixth grade and 88 percent in seventh grade.
Detailed ISTEP results are set to be released by the Indiana Department of Education today.
“When you look at our scores, our scores are probably going to be lower than what you see in the county, but you know, it’s a different population that we have here,” Starkey said, adding that 28 percent of students in the corporation speak English as a second language and 25 percent are special education. “So I think seeing those scores and seeing gains over the years with those students included, I think it says a lot about the dedication and hard work of our teachers.”
Starkey commended teachers at Franklin and Fairview elementaries and said the corporation should work to duplicate what had been done there.
“I think we need to take a good look and see what are we doing at Franklin and Fairview, specifically in fourth- and fifth-grade math,” she said. “What’s going on there that we can replicate in our other grade levels? ... What’s going on there, because they have continuously had strong math scores.”
• Jason M. Rodriguez is associate editor of the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at 574-732-5117 or email@example.com.