All but one school corporation in Porter County met a new and higher state
benchmark for school progress, but the school-by-school breakdown shows that
13 schools, including two in Duneland, didn’t achieve the designation.
The Indiana Department of Education this morning released the listing of
school corporations and individual schools that achieved what’s known as
Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), a benchmark set in the federal No Child Left
Behind Act. The AYP is based on student performance and participation on the
state’s standardized tests, student attendance rates in elementary and
middle schools, and high school graduation rates.
Statewide, 50 percent of Indiana schools met AYP this year, a decrease from
54 percent last year, when the bar to make AYP in Indiana was lower.
In a press release, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett
criticized the lower school performance.
“It’s unacceptable that only half our schools are achieving the minimum
federal standard,” he said. “The circumstances require a renewed commitment
from all Hoosiers and a sense of urgency that, sadly, doesn’t currently
exist. We simply must do better. The bar has been raised, but if Indiana
students are going to compete with their peers from across the U.S. and
around the world, we must continue to raise expectations across the board.”
This is the second time since 2005 that Indiana has raised its standard for
the minimum percentage of students who are required to pass the state’s
standardized test, Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress (ISTEP).
Under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, public schools must make AYP for
both the overall student population and every demographic group within a
school that includes 30 or more students. These subgroups are broken down
into student categories based on their household incomes, race and
ethnicity, limited English proficiency and special education.
In Porter County, all school corporations except for the Portage School
system met the AYP. The Portage Schools did not meet the benchmark due to
results in the special education subgroup.
When broken down by a school-by-school basis, the DOE’s listing shows that
Liberty Intermediate and Chesterton Middle School are among the 13 Porter
County schools that did not meet the AYP individually.
LIS met the benchmark in all categories except for the special education
subgroup on the English/language arts portion of ISTEP; CMS met all
categories except for the English tests results among the students in the
free lunch and special education subgroups and the math test results in the
special education subgroup.
The other Porter County schools that didn’t meet AYP individually were:
Valparaiso, Portage, Hebron, and Boone Grove high schools; Fegely Middle
School in Portage and Thomas Jefferson Middle in Valparaiso; and Aylesworth,
Ethel R. Jones, and South Haven elementary schools in the Portage system and
Parkview and TJ elementary schools in Valparaiso.
Individual schools can meet AYP if they meet all targets -- academic
performance and participation in the ISTEP tests, attendance, and graduation
rates -- for the overall student population and each student subgroup, or if
they reduce the number of students not meeting performance targets by 10
percent and if they meet attendance and graduation rate targets.
This year’s AYP in Indiana was based on a higher standard. Indiana raises
its AYP bar every three years and, beginning in 2010, every year through
For example, the percentage of students who had to pass the English/language
arts portion of ISTEP in the school years spanning 2004 to 2007 in order for
their the school to meet AYP was 65.7 percent, but that was increased to
72.6 percent for the 2007-08 school year. The increase for the math passing
grade in those same years went from 64.3 percent to 71.5 percent.
By 2014, federal law calls for 100 percent of students at every school to
pass state tests in both the English/Language Arts and math portions of
School corporations and individual schools that consistently do not make AYP
and which also participate in the federal Title I program can face
intervention by the state. In Porter County, only one school -- Aylesworth
in Portage -- is on what’s known as Title I “improvement status.”
The complete statewide results for the AYP in Indiana are available online