It’s early on Monday, Dec. 11 at Arlington High School and test coordinator Tina Ahlgren is trying to track down six missing students.
She and other staff have already spent the weekend calling phone numbers they’ve cobbled together to reach parents of these and other students who have yet to show up and take one of two standardized tests – the ISTEP 10 or end of course exam, known as the ECA.
“Right now I’m going through the kids that we’re most concerned about. These are the kids that haven’t made a single test,” Ahlgren says as she scrolls through a student database on her office computer. “They haven’t had any response from any parents and their attendance is bad enough that we’re very concerned about them.”
Indiana students need to pass one of those tests to earn a high school diploma. At Arlington, on the city’s Eastside, more than 200 students – including the entire junior class – have yet to pass both math and English portions of the test. Due to changes in state law, which test a student is required to take – ISTEP or ECA – depends on their graduation cohort.