Allen County Superintendents Assess ILEARN's Impact

Sep 5, 2019

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Allen County public school superintendents gathered Wednesday to discuss the impact of the new state standardized test scores.

The Indiana State Dept. of Education publicly released the results of the new ILEARN test Wednesday.

Fewer than half of all students in Indiana reached proficiency on either the English Language Arts or math part of the test, with just more than a third of Hoosier students reaching proficiency on both.

While area school officials say there’s some relief that schools will be “held harmless,” meaning school letter grades will not be affected due to low test scores, some administrators are uncertain over how the state plans to move forward with standardized testing.  

Fort Wayne Community Schools Superintendent Wendy Robinson said tests like ILEARN and formerly ISTEP haven’t had the expected impact on school accountability. She says standardized tests ignore the efforts put forth by teachers when it comes to providing individualized attention for students throughout the school year, in order to meet state standards.   

“So part of our concern as superintendents is, we’ve been down this road so many times that we’re at a point that, what’s the point? If we’re trying to have schools be accountable, we’re trying to do that every single day.”

Robinson says while schools are equipped to provide resources to make standardized testing possible, she says students are required by curriculums to learn enough to make the testing process seamless. 

“I just know our focus has to be on the standards, and our focus has to be on how kids process when there’s a problem in front of them, have we taught them how to solve it,” she said. 

Robinson noted that it can be difficult for kids who aren’t used to the technology needed to take the test, to balance using the technology as well as the test itself.