Find our all our stories and databases on the 2016 ISTEP test results, as well as other testing coverage, here.
Indiana high school students took the ISTEP test for the first time this year — and most posted abysmal scores.
In Marion County, even the schools with the highest number of students passing saw nearly half of their students fail, which means that thousands of Indianapolis students could be headed toward graduation without the skills they need to succeed in college in careers.
But there were a few standouts that outperformed the rest of the pack on the new test, a 10th grade ISTEP, which this year replaced subject-specific exams in Algebra I, freshman English and biology as a measure of school performance.
Three charter schools topped the list, including one surprising contender — a recovery high school designed to support students dealing with addiction. The rest of the schools were primarily in township districts, where schools tend to be more racially and socioeconomically balanced and better-funded.
Just one Indianapolis Public Schools high school made the top 10 list. The magnet school serves students with a rigorous International Baccalaureate curriculum, which is designed to prepare kids for a “global world” by teaching them to think critically, use research, ask probing questions and get involved in their communities.
We included school demographics because research shows that schools with more white and affluent students tend to do better on standardized tests. That means the schools with more low-income kids are the ones to watch.
These are the 10 Marion County public high schools with the highest ISTEP passing rates:
Charles A. Tindley Accelerated School. This charter school, part of the six-school Tindley charter network, saw 57 percent of its students pass both English and math ISTEP exams.
- 94.6 percent black, 3.1 percent multiracial, 1.5 percent white.
- 68.5 percent of students qualify for meal assistance.
Herron High School. At this charter school, a highly sought-after charter school on the near northside known for its liberal arts curriculum, 51.3 percent of students passed both tests.
- 61.6 percent white, 23.5 percent black, 7.5 percent multiracial, 4.8 percent Hispanic, 2.2 percent Asian.
- 35 percent of students qualify for meal assistance.
Hope Academy. This charter school, which serves students recovering from addiction, had 50 percent of students pass both exams.
- 71.4 percent white, 10.7 percent multiracial, 10.7 percent Hispanic, 3.6 percent black, 3.6 percent Asian.
- 46.4 percent of students qualify for meal assistance.
Franklin Central High School. This Franklin Township school saw 44.6 percent of kids passing the English and math tests.
- 77.9 percent white, 7 percent black, 6.3 percent Hispanic, 4.8 percent multiracial, 3.5 percent Asian.
- 34.1 percent of students qualify for meal assistance.
North Central High School. At this Washington Township school, 34.9 percent of students passed the exams.
- 41 percent black, 35.2 percent white, 13.5 percent Hispanic, 6.2 percent multiracial, 4.1 percent Asian.
- 47.8 percent of students qualify for meal assistance.
Speedway Senior High School. This Speedway school saw 28.4 percent of students pass both tests.
- 56 percent white, 21.6 percent black, 11.7 percent Hispanic, 5.6 percent multiracial, 5.1 percent Asian.
- 51.9 percent of students qualify for meal assistance.
Shortridge High School. The only Indianapolis Public Schools high school to make the top 10 list, this IB magnet school saw 26.9 percent of its students passed the two tests.
- 44.7 percent black, 27.2 percent white, 20.1 percent Hispanic, 6.6 percent multiracial,
- 52.6 percent of students qualify for meal assistance.
Lawrence North High School. At this township school, 25 percent students passed both ISTEP English and math tests.
- 44.4 percent black, 31.8 percent white, 15.5 percent Hispanic, 6.4 percent multiracial, 1.8 percent Asian.
- 54.8 percent of students qualify for meal assistance.
Pike High School. At this township school, 24.6 percent of students passed both ISTEP exams.
- 62.6 percent black, 18.9 percent Hispanic, 9.7 percent white, 6.6 percent multiracial, 2.2 percent Asian.
- 58.1 percent of students qualify for meal assistance.
Southport High School. This high school in Perry Township saw 23.7 percent of students pass the exams.
- 57.9 percent white, 16.2 Asian, 13.4 Hispanic, 7 percent black, 5.5 percent multiracial.
- 60.4 percent percent of students qualify for meal assistance.