South Bend School officials discuss I-STEP

By: Marcie Kobriger Email
By: Marcie Kobriger Email

When I-STEP results were first released last month, some parents had questions for the south bend school corporation.

“What is the school doing? Because it's not the first time that they realize, wow, they're lacking in this area," Betty Williams, the parent of twins at Clay High School, said.

And it’s not just one area.

South Bend students are behind in language arts. South Bend has a 56-percent passing rate in the subject compared to the state wide average of 72-percent.

In math, South Bend had a passing rate of 59-percent in math compared to 75-percent state wide.

The school board took their first hard look at the scores from September’s test Tuesday.
Reaction to the numbers is mixed.

“Relief that your not going down but also there’s a certain amount of dissatisfaction that were not going up any faster than what we are,” Superintendent Dr. Robert Zimmerman said of the result.

Feelings about the test and what it truly measures are mixed as well.

”I think it is helpful to see where we perform. I don’t think it’s an end all to how the students really are doing in school or a reflection personally on what is being done in our schools,” Mike Budzinski, a second and third grade teacher at Perley school says.

Teachers say a lot is being done in the classrooms. The South Bend School Corporation has begun to look at alternative schools and implement vocational programs.

But some say motivating students to study, and do well on their exams has to happen outside of the classroom as well.

“If parents are out of the loop, if parents are not creating an environment at home that supports the education system then students will not achieve,” Erika Jones of the South Bend School Corporation says.

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