Elkhart Co. school, community leaders address ILEARN results

GOSHEN, Ind. (WNDU) - Superintendents of all seven school corporations in Elkhart County were joined by business leaders in issuing statements about the latest ILEARN test results Friday night.

Superintendents and leaders said they have concerns with the standardized test.

"Only 37% of students passed both the math and English, language arts sections of the test," Horizon Education Alliance President and CEO Brian Wiebe said. "… These results do not tell the whole story."

"These constant changes create confusion, misalignment and gaps in student learning," Wa-Nee Community Schools Superintendent Dr. Scot Croner said.

Instead of ILEARN, they say they want accountability and assessment systems that actually work.

"A lot of times when we look at the ILEARN scores, we are boiling things down to numbers, and we are turning students into data points," Elkhart Community Schools Superintendent Dr. Steve Thalheimer said. "One of the most critical things we can do is looking at students as the young people that they are, that we are trying to develop into citizens who are ready for the world that is ahead of them."

That is why they are focused on innovative and collaborative strategies to make the education system better, like experiential learning

"We need to step up as business leaders and to do our part," MapleTronics CEO Wes Herschberger said.

They also said they are interested in offering school counseling and positive programs for parents, as well as asking legislators to find a way to measure students' true progress toward graduation.

16 News Now took a comprehensive look at ILEARN results from Michiana school districts earlier this week.