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See how schools fared on Indiana’s new ILEARN test

ILearn test results for Indiana students

David Williams | News 8 at 5 p.m.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The numbers are out, and, as expected, the state’s ILEARN test scores are down when compared to past ISTEP-Plus scores.

The state’s top educator and Gov. Eric Holcomb saw this coming days ago, but Wednesday offered a chance for a closer look into why … and what happens now.

The Indiana Learning Evaluation Assessment Readiness Network (ILEARN) assessment test replaced the Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress-Plus (ISTEP-Plus) test. Mandated by state lawmakers back in 2017, ILEARN assesses students in subjects including math, English/language arts starting in third grade, with other subjects to follow.

Parents and schools already had the test results, which were released publicly Wednesday. They showed lower achievement across the state in English/language arts and math when compared to past ISTEP+ scores Jennifer McCormick, the state superintendent of public instruction, said, “We know there is frustration with the ILEARN for this year. Although those implementation results were expected, they can be very, very difficult.”

Statewide data showed just over 37 percent of the almost 500,000 students in grades 3 through 8 tested in math and English/language arts were deemed proficient. Also, 47% of fourth- and sixth-graders tested statewide were proficient in science, and 46% of fifth-graders tested statewide were proficient in social studies.

“The assessment was much more rigorous this year compared to in the past. The skills that had a lot more weight on their scores that were assessed look different than they did in the past,” McCormick said.

Superintendent Jeff Butts of Wayne Township Schools in Indianapolis told News 8 that he saw a roughly 30% decline in passing ILEARN scores in his district. That decline is greater among special needs students and students learning English as an additional language.

“While these test scores may be disheartening for some, we continue to encourage our teachers and reinforce the fact that we know each and every day they’re making assessments on their students to help differentiate their instruction, help provide additional resources,” Butts said.

On Wednesday, the State Board of Education decided it will not assign school letter grades until state lawmakers act to make sure this year’s ILEARN scores don’t adversely impact schools or teachers.

“We are hopeful that our General Assembly will take a hard look at our accountability system and address some of those concerns so a year from now we’re not having this same conversation,” McCormick said.


“I am a member of the House Committee on Education. Here is what I’ve learned from a test that the governor and the supermajority do not want to use: they have failed us. I agree with Jennifer McCormick, state superintendent of public instruction, except for one thing. The governor and the state legislature should be responsible for reviewing and creating a rational accountability system. It should not be the State Board of Education, which is an appointed body that has failed our state time and time again.”

Indiana state Rep. Ed DeLaney, a Democrat from Indianapolis

“I will reiterate a statement I made last week: legislative leadership in Indiana needs to refrain from consistently changing the rules in the middle of the game for our students and educators. This is not the first time we have seen a dip in test scores attributed to lack of time to adjust to new testing guidelines. Additionally, we shouldn’t rely on such high stakes testing to determine a school’s funding as well as teachers’ performance bonuses. Let’s let our teachers teach and our students learn, and if changes must be made, the legislature needs to make a better effort to listen to those who have actually spent time in the classroom.”

Indiana Senate Democratic Leader Tim Lanane, from Anderson