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Tell City ISTEP scores set records

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Corporation ranks 43rd of 290 in state; both schools expect ‘A’ rankings from state

By VINCE LUECKE
Editor

TELL CITY – Tell City elementary and high-school students set records on their 2013 Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress-Plus exams, logging scores that were at or near the best in school history and among the highest in southwest Indiana.

Overall results at Tell City High School were the best ever, Principal Brad Ramsey said, with William Tell Elementary School Principal Laura Noble reporting scores that trailed only last year’s record results.

“I’m happy to present to you the second-best scores in school history,” she told school-board members Tuesday evening. “It used to be something to match state averages but now we are consistently well above them year after year. It’s a tribute to our students, staff and parents.”

Schoolwide 81.05 percent of elementary-school students passed both English-language arts and math portions of the exam, just a fraction lower than the 81.3 percent who did so last year.

All grades’ passing percentages exceeded state averages. In fact, all classes’ English-language arts scores were above the 80th percentile and all were above state averages, many of them by several percentage points. Two percentages were above 90 percent and Noble said she was very pleased with the percentage of students who passed both English-language arts and math portions of the exam.

That figure, she said, is an important one in determining the performance grades schools receive from the state education department.

Results by Class

Third grade: 91.1 percent of students passed the English-language portion of the exam, above the 83-percent state average; 85.3 percent passed the math portion, above the 78-percent state average.

Fourth grade: 90.5 percent of students passed the English-language arts portion of the exam, above the 82-percent state average; 83.2 percent passed the math portion, above the 82-percent state average.

Fifth grade: 80.9 percent of students passed the English-language arts portion of the exam, above the 77-percent state average; 86 percent passed the math portion, above the 85-percent state average. Seventy-two percent of fifth-grade students passed the social-studies component given to that class only. That was above the 69-percent stage average.

Sixth grade: 80.2 percent of students passed the English-language portion of the exam, above the 75-percent state average; 87.7 percent passed the math portion, above the 82-percent state average.

The percentage of elementary students whose scores were high enough to demonstrate exemplary academic performance on the standardized tests, known as “pass-plus,” were also good in several areas at the elementary school.

Thirty-six percent of third graders earned that designation in English with 34 percent of sixth graders doing so in English and 39 percent in math.

“That tells you our high-ability kids are having great success,” Noble said.

Schools are still awaiting science scores in grades 4 and 6.

Record Scores at TCJHS

“The credit belongs to our staff and kids” Ramsey said while reporting school-record ISTEP results.

The school posted the highest overall scores of any in Perry and Spencer counties, he said, with 86.1 percent of students in grades 7 and 8 passing English-language arts and math portions.

That was good enough to rank the school 28th highest among the states’s 480 junior-high schools.
Tell City-Troy Township schools’ combined scores ranked 43rd in the state in overall students passing both English and math exams. That is out of 290 school corporations.

Results by Grade

Seventh grade: 86.2 percent of students passed the English-language arts portion of the exam, above the 72-percent state average; 94.7 percent passed the math portion, above the 78-percent state average.

Eighth grade: 91.1 percent of students passed the English-language portion of the exam, above the 73-percent state average; 91 percent passed the math portion, above the 79-percent state average

Ramsey said the percentage of students earning pass-plus scores was also the highest in school history. He pointed out that 49 percent of students earned pass-plus in seventh-grade math.

“They’re pushing those kids and it’s giving them an excellent education,” he said.

Educators speaking last week said their goal is for all students to excel on the exams and Noble said administrators and teachers will incorporate strengths and weaknesses shown by the scores into school-improvement plans.

Letter Grades

Noble and Ramsey said they expect to be awarded “As” when the state announces school-improvement grades.

That announcement is expected later in the school year.

William Tell was awarded an A in 2012 with the high school earning a B.