ILEARN test results released show drop in proficiency state-wide

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - ILEARN test scores for 2021 are finally out and the results aren't looking good. Proficiency levels statewide dropped 8.5 percentage points since the tests were last taken in 2019.

“The results are frustrating but we knew this was coming," Rafi Nolan-Abrahamian, the Assistant Superintendent of Accountability or the South Bend School Corporation said.

The ILEARN standardized test results are out and the proficiency scores are not looking good. ILEARN is given from 3rd through 8th grade.

Now, the test was first rolled out in 2019 and caused uproar across the state as scores were not where many schools wanted them.

"As far as we can remember, we’ve seen declines in student performance," he said.

“The messaging at that point was that year 2 we would rebound from that and then the pandemic hit," Kory LaBonne, the Director of School Services and Assessment at School City of Mishawaka said.

The tests were put on hold in 2020 because of the pandemic but then taken again last spring.

“I think we’re looking at those results through the lens as this is a baseline. This is a starting point for us," he said.

Although expectations were low, these numbers are even lower.

"Remote learning, hybrid learning has not worked," Nolan-Abrahamian said.

Proficiency levels statewide in Math and English dropping 8.5 percentage points

South Bend Community Schools proficiency scores falling just under 8 percentage points, with only 7.5% of students proficient.

Penn Harris Madison is down almost 11 percentage points, and School City of Mishawaka dropping just over 8 percentage points.

"We cannot simply go back to the way things have been operating," Nolan-Abrahamian said.

While many expected students to struggle, the rush to reshape the curriculum has already started.

“The district does require significant structural changes and improvements in instructional quality across the board," he said.

“We make sure that we’re aligning our curriculum, instruction, assessment, we’re investing in professional development in literacy. We have summer school programs, we’ve expanded those opportunities," Dr. Jerry Thacker, the Superintendent for Penn-Harris-Madison Schools said. "We’ll make sure that when the students are here that we’re investing more time and direct instruction. We’ll use some instructional interventionalist which will focus on the needs the students have.”

"It will certainly be a period of recovery," LaBonne said.

South Bend officials emphasizing they will need to target the most at-risk students and underperforming schools because they were the ones disproportionately impacted by these lower scores.

All three school officials said this isn’t something the gets done in a semester or school year, this is a multi-year process and more formal testing will help the district's gauge where students are.

However, the community is also stepping in to help!

With a large grant granted to the Boys and Girls Club -  the strive program was created to help get kids back up to speed.

The Robinson Center and several other organizations will now offer homework help for students still dealing with learning losses from the pandemic.

Things like literacy tutoring, math tutoring, and entrepreneurship classes.

This was announced a day after Indiana's new ILEARN standardized test scores came out.

“Children can really benefit with targeted instruction – either one on one or small group interactions and that’s really what we hope to set up at the boys and girls club so kids can really get that individual help that they need," Jennifer Knapp Beudert, the Manager of the Robinson Community Learning Center said.

The Robinson Center will also be able to address the social and emotional needs of students through this new program.


For the complete breakdown of the ILEARN test results click here.

Share this article: