21 Northwest Indiana schools get perfect scores on state reading test
BY CHRISTIN NANCE LAZERUS email@example.com September 5, 2013 11:04PM
Students at Banneker Achievement Center in Gary scored a 100-percent passing rate on the state's IREAD3 exam. | Sun-Times Media File Photo
Updated: October 8, 2013 6:02AM
More than 91 percent of Indiana third grade students passed the IREAD3 exam this spring and during summer re-tests.
The second year of the tests showed a slightly higher passage rate — from 90.6 percent in 2012 to 91.1 percent this year.
The test, established by a 2010 state law, helps determine whether a student’s reading skills are where they need to be to succeed beyond third grade.
Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz, who has been critical of the exam, noted student improvement and encouraged schools to get involved with the Hoosier Family of Readers initiative to encourage reading outside the classroom.
“I want to thank the many educators and families who are making reading proficiency a priority throughout Indiana,” Ritz said in a statement issued by the state Department of Education.
“I am committed to a strong focus on literacy K-12, which is a key indicator of student success.”
If students don’t pass the test, they receive targeted remediation, usually from Title I teachers, and are able to re-take the exam in the summer. They will be able to move to fourth grade with their peers, but they will be instructed on a third-grade level and take the third-grade version of ISTEP+.
Among Northwest Indiana public school districts, East Porter County School Corp. sported the highest pass rate, with only one student failing to pass the exam. Superintendent Rod Gardin said the district is pleased with the results.
“We’re very happy and we give credit to our students, teachers and parents,” Gardin said.
About 70 percent of Gary Community School Corp. students passed the exam, but the district showed a wide variance in performance at individual schools. Banneker Achievement Center had a 100 percent passing rate, while only 52.4 percent of Beveridge Elementary students passed the exam.
Twelve private schools, one charter and eight public schools garnered perfect passing rates. East Chicago Urban Enterprise Academy Director Charlotte Jackson was thrilled the school was in that group.
“We really focused our efforts on students meeting and exceeding expectations,” Jackson said. “We had differentiated instruction for every child, so no one was allowed to slide through the cracks.”
The public schools with perfect passing rates included Banneker Achievement Center in Gary; Solon Robinson Elementary in Crown Point; Lake Central’s Watson Elementary; Frank Hammond Elementary in Munster; East Porter’s Kouts Elementary and Washington Township Elementary; Northview Elementary in Valparaiso; and Duneland’s Jackson Elementary.
Private schools with 100 percent passing rates include St. Michael in Schererville, Saint John Evangelist in St. John, St. Stanislaus in East Chicago, Saint Mary’s in Griffith, Saint Casimir in Hammond, Saint John the Baptist in Whiting, Our Lady of Grace in Highland, St. Thomas More in Munster, Notre Dame in Michigan City, Trinity in Crown Point, St. Paul in Munster and Immanuel Lutheran in Valparaiso.