Did you notice the countdown above? ISTEP applied skills is rapidly approaching. We at Hanover Central Middle School are approaching this year’s state-wide testing with an even greater sense of urgency than normal. As you probably already know, HCMS was given a grade of ‘D’ from the Indiana A-F Accountability program. This disappointing result based on the 2013 ISTEP test is NOT due to lower performance from our students than in the past as we continue to have pass rates for both math and English/language arts at or near 80%. Based on performance alone the grade would have been at worst a high ‘C.’ The lower grade is a result of HCMS students not showing enough growth according to the State formula and our grade was adjusted downward in response.
Regardless of the reasons, we are not taking this lightly.We know that HCMS is not really a ‘D’ school and we are working diligently to turn this around. It is difficult to identify a single cause for disappointing test results and we have identified a number of possible contributing factors that are being addressed, including, but not limited to, school culture and climate, test preparation, test awareness and even the testing environment.
We have all heard the saying “It takes a village to raise a child.” With that in mind we would ask family, friends and community members for their support in this matter. Please help us emphasize the importance of the ISTEP test with our students by challenging and encouraging them to do their very best. As we frequently remind the students, we make educational program decisions based in part on their ISTEP results and for us to do our very best making these decision on their behalf; we need them to do their very best on ISTEP. Parents can certainly also help by making sure their children have good attendance, are well rested and eat a healthy breakfast on test days.
Working together we can make a difference.