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ECI schools saw improvements on ISTEP+ scoring


Schools in Blackford, Henry, Jay and Randolph counties matched the statewide trend -- overall, students performed better on the 2010 ISTEP+ test.

In Blackford County, the fifth-graders at Northside Elementary beat the state average of students passing both the English and math tests, as well as the social studies test. And their high numbers -- 85 percent of the class passed the math test, followed by 79 percent in English, and 72 percent of social studies -- helped push the overall scores of the corporation''s fifth grade above the state marks.

At Union Schools in Modoc -- the smallest school corporation in Randolph County -- students in the third, fourth, fifth and sixth grades topped the state averages in every division. That success stands in sharp contrast to the scores of seventh- and eighth-graders, which fell short of the state numbers.

For the most part, such a mixed bag of results isn''t uncommon, as middle school scores have lagged behind those of elementary students throughout Indiana.

Monroe Central Schools experienced nearly an identical pattern, except students in grades 3-7 beat the statewide percentages of those passing the exam, while only the eighth-graders lagged behind those marks.

In Winchester, Randolph Central Schools Supt. Greg Hinshaw attributes much of the corporation''s improvement in math to an algebra readiness program adopted by four of the five corporations a couple of years ago.

"I think that has born fruit," Hinshaw said.

But now, it''s time for Randolph Central to put a new focus on English, the superintendent said, noting it was too soon to say exactly what path schools and teachers would follow to make improvements.

Jay County Schools'' overall numbers went up in all areas -- from 73 percent to 77 percent in English; from 75 percent to 80 percent in math, and from 65 to 70 percent combined.

Standout schools in the corporation were Bloomfield Elementary, where 100 percent of fifth-graders passed math. In fact, all of the fourth- and fifth-grade scores there were over 90 percent. At Pennville Elementary, all fifth-graders passed math.

The lowest scores by grade were reported at West Jay Middle School (English) and Westlawn Elementary School (math).

Henry County schools showed overall improvement across all sections of the exam.

New Castle Community Schools, Blue River Valley Schools, South Henry Schools, Charles A. Beard Memorial Schools and Shenandoah Schools all upped their numbers, many of them by five or more percentage points.

Eastwood Elementary still comes in as New Castle''s lowest-performing school, but did manage to increase its math numbers by more than two percentage points. Greenstreet Elementary, which was closed this month, dropped in English scores and increased in math scores, the latter surpassing the state average.

New Castle''s highest-performing school was Riley Elementary, which had numbers well-above the state average for all grades in English and math.

View the article on the Star Press website here.

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