Indiana sees English, math scores drop on Spring 2021 ILEARN exam

Fewer than one-third of elementary and middle school students in Indiana recorded passing scores on the latest round of state standardized tests, results released Wednesday show, confirming education officials’ concerns that the coronavirus pandemic has fueled substantial learning losses.

Posted: Jul 14, 2021 4:05 PM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Fewer than one-third of elementary and middle school students in Indiana recorded passing scores on the latest round of state standardized tests, results released Wednesday show, confirming education officials’ concerns that the coronavirus pandemic has fueled substantial learning losses.

The Indiana Department of Education released results from the spring ILEARN exam that show 40.5% of students are at or above proficiency standards in English/language arts, and 36.9% are at or above proficiency standards in mathematics.

Only 28.6% of students statewide in grades three through eight tested proficient in both English and math, a drop from 37.1% the last time the test was administered in 2019.

State data showed “significant” gaps persist among racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic student groups.

For example, just 8% of Black students in Indiana passed both the English and math sections, compared with 46.5% of Asian students, 34.7% of white students, and 15.6% Hispanic students.

Indianapolis Public Schools, which has one of the highest proportions of disadvantaged students in the state, saw only 10% of its students pass both English and math.

Neighboring Warren Township schools reported fewer than 8% of students who tested proficient.

In northern Indiana’s South Bend Community Schools, 7.5% of students had passing rates on both sections of the exam.

“These results confirm what we expected, and what we now know — student learning was significantly impacted by COVID-19,” Indiana Secretary of Education Katie Jenner said. “This data cannot be an indictment on anyone, on anything, on any school. The reality is all of us had a global pandemic.”

Wanting to monitor student progress during the pandemic, Indiana education officials still required schools to administer standardized tests in spring of this year, even as many students across the state received instruction virtually or on a hybrid model.

The state recorded 97% participation rates on both the English and math sections of the tests for students in grades three to eight, according to the state Education Department.

ILEARN was first administered in 2019. It measures proficiency in various subject starting in third grade, but the main focus is on English/language arts and mathematics in grades three through eight.

With federal permission, the assessment was not given in 2020 due to pandemic-related school closures.

State education officials emphasized the 2021 test results should not be compared to those in 2019. Instead, Jenner said schools are being encouraged to use the results to plan how to recover from the pandemic’s effects on student learning.

“This data establishes a new baseline for us as a state,” Jenner said. “These are not problems that anyone can fix overnight. This is going to take an extended effort just to get us back to where we were.”

Earlier this year, state legislators passed a “hold harmless” measure for schools, preventing poor results from affecting accountability measurements or teacher evaluations. It also required the completion of an academic impact study to gauge the effects of the pandemic on student learning.

“Unfortunately, the ILEARN results we saw today are not overly surprising given the extremely challenging events and extenuating circumstances our students, teachers, schools and families have faced over the last year,” Republican Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray of Martinsville. “At no fault of anyone, our students now face a long road ahead to catch up in their studies.”

Indiana’s Education Department last month began issuing $122 million in grants to enhance summer learning programs to get students back on track as soon as possible, providing academic and social emotional support for students.

The grants are part of $150 million in state funding the Indiana General Assembly set aside to address learning loss earlier this year.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1097128

Reported Deaths: 17438
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1437882222
Lake712531225
Allen65537867
Hamilton50147482
St. Joseph48760639
Elkhart39461538
Vanderburgh34221495
Tippecanoe30237271
Johnson27179463
Hendricks25845379
Porter25014381
Madison20656444
Clark19898275
Vigo18764308
LaPorte16857260
Delaware16425291
Howard16408311
Monroe16379217
Kosciusko13936163
Hancock12841185
Bartholomew12686188
Warrick11995189
Wayne11879265
Floyd11869225
Grant11701235
Morgan10252188
Boone9675120
Noble9069121
Henry9002165
Marshall8907146
Dearborn881799
Dubois8710139
Shelby8054128
Cass8014127
Lawrence7922182
DeKalb7591106
Huntington7448108
Jackson743893
Gibson7002118
Montgomery6910123
Harrison685296
Knox6827113
Steuben654186
Miami6477107
Whitley642260
Putnam631982
Clinton618976
Wabash6060108
Jasper601791
Jefferson5689103
Ripley549192
Adams532381
Daviess5003116
Scott480378
Wells471799
White468767
Greene461799
Clay457462
Decatur4529109
Jennings439666
Fayette435694
LaGrange419290
Posey403244
Washington384154
Randolph3818107
Fountain368362
Spencer355846
Fulton355572
Starke348772
Owen346276
Sullivan344954
Orange324470
Jay318650
Rush298332
Carroll289438
Franklin286744
Perry283253
Vermillion280458
Tipton247365
Parke246330
Pike244144
Blackford218044
Pulaski205658
Newton179052
Brown171850
Crawford167929
Benton163217
Martin150819
Switzerland145112
Warren132216
Union117816
Ohio91413
Unassigned0585

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1683472

Reported Deaths: 26483
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1766331826
Cuyahoga1641462636
Hamilton1122641528
Montgomery794721387
Summit702171199
Lucas618431017
Butler55878803
Stark525841170
Lorain41058639
Warren35404412
Mahoning35095769
Lake31445493
Clermont30711362
Delaware26682182
Trumbull26664611
Licking26200335
Medina25291351
Fairfield24173287
Greene24051369
Clark21653387
Portage20709280
Richland20587336
Wood19626246
Allen18542320
Miami17031348
Columbiana16502331
Muskingum16416206
Wayne15432304
Tuscarawas14086357
Marion13054194
Erie12423198
Ashtabula12314225
Scioto12235182
Pickaway12070151
Ross11487223
Hancock11256173
Geauga10666174
Lawrence10504171
Belmont10259231
Huron9588155
Jefferson9462225
Union939175
Sandusky9068166
Seneca8692156
Knox8618169
Washington8613156
Athens827396
Darke8270179
Ashland7840147
Auglaize7741115
Shelby7337132
Defiance7210114
Crawford7082150
Brown7052115
Fulton7016111
Logan6857108
Mercer681697
Guernsey680283
Highland6615117
Madison641389
Clinton6388106
Williams628798
Preble6171139
Putnam6089120
Jackson572396
Champaign568286
Perry558879
Coshocton5552103
Ottawa553599
Morrow506464
Fayette483170
Hardin477899
Gallia462978
Pike459076
Van Wert454691
Adams4514109
Henry424976
Hocking401493
Holmes3939137
Wyandot367973
Carroll351578
Paulding319349
Meigs302457
Monroe231860
Noble216447
Morgan210138
Harrison205152
Vinton183937
Unassigned05
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