Although test results are only one measure of student achievement, they have become increasingly important in assessing student learning. In 2011-2012 Indiana used the Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress-Plus (ISTEP+) assessment to test students in grades 3 through 8 in English/language arts and math, grades 4 and 6 in science, and in grades 5 and 7 in social studies. The ISTEP+ is a standards-based test that measures how well students are meeting the state’s grade-level expectations.

Indiana also administers End-of-Course Assessments in Algebra I, Biology I, and English 10 at the conclusion of each course.

How are the tests scored?

Students are assigned one of three scores for their performance on the ISTEP+: did not pass, pass, or pass+. The state’s goal is for all students to obtain a pass or pass+ score on the test. The End-of-Course Assessments are scored as did not pass or pass. The state’s goal is for all students to pass the test.

Which results are included on GreatSchools profiles?

For each subject tested using the ISTEP+ assessment, the combined percentage of students scoring at the pass and pass+ level is displayed.

Why do the tests matter?

Indiana scores are important to students because schools are required to provide remediation services to those who do not pass the ISTEP+ test in any content area.

ISTEP+ scores are important to schools because they are used to place the school in one of five state accountability categories. Schools in Academic Probation must follow specific steps to improve performance.

It is important to be aware of both your child’s score on the assessments and the overall score for his school. If your child scores below the standards, contact his teacher to discuss getting additional assistance, and to find out how you can support your child’s learning at home. If your child is in a failing school, ask what your options are for obtaining supplemental services or for transferring to a higher-performing school.

A few parting words

Although test results can be an indicator of what’s happening in the classroom, they don’t tell you everything about the quality of a school. Always look at more than one measure when judging school performance and visit in person before making any final determination.

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