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As in years past, the public schools that struggled most on the state’s ISTEP exam in 2016 were either middle schools, schools where the majority of students are poor or schools that serve primarily students with special needs.
Every school on this list fell far below the state’s average passing rate of 51.6 percent for students in grades 3-8. And many had even lower passing rates than they did in 2015 when a new test caused scores to drop throughout the state.
Two of the schools are charter schools: one that focuses on students with special needs and the other a former IPS school that was taken over by the state after years of low test scores and handed over to a for-profit charter manager.
The other eight schools are part of Indianapolis Public Schools or the Wayne Township school district.
These are the 10 Marion County public schools with the lowest 2016 ISTEP passing rates:
Indiana Math and Science Academy South. This charter school saw 7.8 percent of students pass both tests.
- 58 percent black, 23.5 percent white, 10.3 percent multiracial, 8.2 percent Hispanic.
- 95 percent of students qualify for meal assistance.
Northwest Community Jr. High School. Only 7.7 percent of students passed both tests at this IPS School.
- 60.1 percent black, 25.8 percent Hispanic, 8.2 percent white, 3.3 percent Asian, 2.6 percent multiracial.
- 80.8 percent of students qualify for meal assistance.
Riverside School 44. At this IPS school, 7.1 percent of students passed both tests.
- 63.7 percent black, 25.4 percent Hispanic, 8.6 percent white, 1.7 percent multiracial.
- 84.5 percent of students qualify for meal assistance.
James Whitcomb Riley School 43. Just 5.3 percent of kids passed English and math at this IPS school.
- 83.6 percent black, 6.8 percent multiracial, 5.6 percent white, 3.5 percent Hispanic.
- 77 percent of students qualify for meal assistance.
Francis Scott Key 103. This IPS school is an innovation school, meaning it’s still a part of the district but is managed by Phalen Leadership Academies, a charter school network that took over the school last year. The school is still struggling: Just 4.6 percent of students passed both the math and English exam.
- 83.3 percent black, 9.7 percent Hispanic, 3.4 percent multiracial, 3.4 percent white.
- 74.4 percent of students qualify for meal assistance.
Arlington Middle School. At this IPS school, which was separated from Arlington High School in 2015, 3.5 percent of students passed both ISTEP exams.
- 87.2 percent black, 5.5 percent Hispanic, 3.7 percent white, 3.7 percent multiracial.
- 72.1 percent of students qualify for meal assistance.
Sanders School. At this Wayne Township school, which serves students with special needs, 2.4 percent of students passed both ISTEP English and math tests.
- 54 percent white, 27.6 percent black, 10.3 percent multiracial, 8 percent Hispanic.
- 59.7 percent of students qualify for meal assistance.
John Marshall Jr. High School. Only 2 percent of students passed both tests at this IPS middle school.
- 69.3 percent black, 14.6 percent Hispanic, 11.5 percent white, 4.2 percent multiracial.
- 76.3 percent of students qualify for meal assistance.
Damar Charter Academy. No students passed ISTEP at this charter school, which enrolls almost entirely students who need special education services.
- 65.6 percent white, 26.4 percent black, 6.1 percent multiracial, 1.2 percent Hispanic.
- 80.9 percent percent of students qualify for meal assistance.
Marion Academy. This charter school saw no students pass both exams.
- 70.8 percent black, 18.5 percent white, 5.4 percent Hispanic, 5.4 percent multiracial.
- 55.6 percent of students qualify for meal assistance.
Correction: An earlier version of this story misreported some of the bottom 10 schools and their passing rates. Emma Donnan Middle School and George Washington Jr. High School, previously on the list, saw 8.7 and 8.6 percent of students passing both exams, respectively, moving them farther up the rankings. They should not have been included among the bottom 10.