Clarksville schools see dismal results in ISTEP test - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Clarksville schools see dismal results in ISTEP test

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CLARKSVILLE, Ind. (WDRB) -- Clarksville schools are facing some dismal scores after the latest round of state test results were released.

The numbers included unexpectedly low scores -- and at one school, almost every child who took the ISTEP failed. 

They foretold and they warned. 

"We don't know what the formatting will look like," said Amy Dean, a 6th grade language arts teacher at Clarksville Middle School in February. "We don't know what the kids will see."

"It would not surprise me if we are in the same situation next year," Clarksville Schools Master Teacher Jaime Lamkin said, in January. 

They were all dire predictions -- but none of the would-be prophets realized how right they were. No one expected test scores this bad.

The results are tragically bad at Clarksville Community Schools -- particularly at the high school, where fewer than 5 percent of the sophomores passed the ISTEP in both English and math. That means almost every 10th grader in the building is behind grade level.

"It's very, very, poor," said Richard Steele, an alumnus of Clarksville High School. "This was one of the best schools around but I know they've had some troubles. They've had problems with the superintendent."

Superintendent Kim Knott is out at the end of the year. The school board did not renew her contract. She had been one of the most outspoken critics of Indiana's changes to education. 

"I'm very concerned we're going to be right back at the table doing this with the same issues and expressing the same concerns to our legislators," Knott said, back in January, just weeks before the test.

On Thursday, Knott wouldn't talk on camera, but in a statement says the district is frustrated with the administration, assessment and scoring.

Indiana became the first in the nation to drop Common Core in 2014 and adopt new, more rigorous education standards with new exams. Teachers complained of getting materials too late in the year to adequately prepare students.

Statewide, last year's scores were low. This year, they're even worse. Only half the kids in 3rd-8th grades who took ISTEP passed both tests. 

New Albany-Floyd County Schools is one of the only districts in our area to post gains. Students are up 5 percent in English, 8 percent in math -- and they're beating state averages. 

"We worked to find ways to make it successful even though it wasn't a perfect situation," said Bill Krammes, principal of Highland Hills Middle School.

Indiana is now looking to get rid of ISTEP after spending millions of taxpayer dollars on new exams. But the state superintendent of schools has been voted out of office and it's unclear if her replacement will carry forward with the same plan. 

"It's a weird time in Indiana and I don't know what's going to happen," said Krammes. "I just hope we get to a place where we don't measure students based on one metric."

The chaos at the top leaves children struggling to understand in many different ways. 

To see how each school fared, CLICK HERE.

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