The email below as sent to all P-H-M Families the afternoon of September 1, 2022.
Dear P-H-M Families,
We are happy to share with you some important information relative to the latest student achievement data in Penn-Harris-Madison. We are proud of the ongoing work of our teachers, students, and families and we will maintain our focus on continuous improvement to ensure students are ready for college and/or career success as they leave Penn High School.
The Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction, Dr. Jennifer McCormick, made a statement in 2019 in order to clarify the drastic differences between ISTEP+ (the previously used state assessment) and ILEARN (which began as the new state assessment in the spring of 2019). This assessment is given to students in grades 3-8 in both English/Language Arts and Mathematics.
As we shared with you over the summer, we are incredibly proud of our state ranking on spring 2022 ILEARN. Penn-Harris-Madison’s students scored in the top 3.67% of all public school corporations ranking 11th out of 299 districts. We want to thank our teachers for their dedication and commitment to working to accelerate the learning of our students.
As we noted above, the statewide assessment changed in 2019. But even with that change, one way we benchmark our performance is by comparing it to statewide proficiency scores. Since 2013, we have increased our variance from state averages considerably.
This graphic shows that we were 12 percentage points above the state average in English/Language Arts in 2013 and then increased that variance to 20 percentage points in 2022, an increase of 8 percentage points. In Mathematics, we were 11 percentage points higher than the state average in 2013 and increased that variance to 21 percentage points, an increase of 10 percentage points.
On this chart, we again look at our variance from the state average when students have passed both English/Language Arts and Mathematics together. In 2013 we were 14 percentage points higher than the state average, while in 2022 we were 21 percentage points higher, showing a 7 percentage point increase.
Often there are correlations between student academic performance and socioeconomic status. We decided to benchmark where P-H-M performed when compared to the most affluent county in Indiana (Hamilton County). This graph displays the school districts that are inside Hamilton County.
The College Board, the developer of the SAT, creates this assessment intended to measure literacy, numeracy, and writing skills needed for future success. In addition to skills learned in school, the tool assesses students’ ability to analyze and solve problems.
Recently our spring 2022 SAT results were released showing that P-H-M students (juniors from last spring) rank in Indiana’s Top 5% in Mathematics, and the Top 7% in English/Language Arts in the state!
While all of this is great news, we are always looking to improve and help every student succeed, turning learning gaps into learning opportunities. We all know that the pandemic created challenges for our students. Our post-pandemic learning recovery plan implemented last year included hiring instructional interventionists at all 15 schools, adding before and after school student tutoring sessions, increasing targeted summer learning opportunities, and continued teacher professional development focused on accelerating student learning. A continued focus on learning will remain a pivotal goal for our school district.
We are hopeful you find this information helpful in understanding P-H-M’s journey to achieving excellence in education. The Board of School Trustees and P-H-M Administration are extremely proud of our teachers and their steadfast commitment to our students, your children. We have all worked together to make P-H-M a leader in academic excellence not only in Indiana, but the nation. We are dedicated to growing and making P-H-M even better than ever for the benefit of our students, families, teachers, staff and the community as a whole.
Dr. Jerry Thacker
Superintendent of Schools