ILEARN scores low in Michiana and across the state

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MISHAWAKA, Ind. (WNDU) - The ILEARN scores are in, and they're looking low across the state and right here in Michiana.

"The [Department of Education] released language and verbiage suggesting that statewide there was a decrease and decline in overall student achievement. Mishawaka certainly aligns with that reality,” said Kory LaBonne the director of school services and assessment for the School City of Mishawaka.

"Across the state the scores were lower, so we knew that was going to occur," Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation Superintendent Dr. Jerry Thacker said.

Here's how some of Michiana's major schools fared in English and Math. We are talking about the total proficiency percentage. Only one showed more than 50% of students demonstrating proficiency.

In South Bend, a little more than 15% of students in Grades 3 through 8 were proficient in both English and Math.

That number was slightly higher in Mishawaka at 23.8%.

Meanwhile, Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation had one of the higher percentages at almost 58%.

The scores were lower in Elkhart at a bit more than 22%.

Goshen came in at 33.1% and Warsaw at 39.9%, which is right around where the overall statewide percentage came out: 37.1%.

PHM was one of the few school corporations looking good.

"We ranked 12th in the state out of 292 school districts, so we're in the top 4%" Thacker said. “I'm extremely proud of the outstanding work that our teachers, students and parents did to achieve these results"

"We still have pockets and areas to celebrate, and we certainly will do that, celebrating the good work and efforts of our staff. But we are certainly not going to pass the buck. We recognize that there's always areas for improvement,” LaBonne says.

With such low scores across the state, the state may need to take another look at the ILEARN.

"It was more rigorous, it was computer based, its wasn't timed. I think there was a challenge with regard to academic stamina for a lot of students across the state," Thacker said.

"I saw another report that suggested 45 out of 17,000 schools saw an increase in overall student scores," LaBonne says. "When you're looking at that large of an impact as far as testing goes, it certainly suggests that there's something to be addressed much bigger than any individual school corporation."

The Indiana Department of Education has decided to put a "Hold Harmless" year on 2018-2019 due to the low scores to keep the ILEARN results from negatively impacting schools' A to F letter grades.