GARY | Most of the 2013 ISTEP+ test scores for seventh- and eighth-grade students at Gary's Roosevelt College and Career Academy show a slight improvement under private management company EdisonLearning.
Not reflected in those raw numbers, though, is that the student population of the school under EdisonLearning has been reduced by about half from when it was operated by the Gary Community School Corp.
EdisonLearning has a total enrollment of 632 students, down about 700 from Roosevelt's enrollment when it was operated by the Gary Community School Corp. The school tested 68 students in seventh grade and 65 in eighth grade.
Tennessee-based EdisonLearning was tapped to manage Gary Roosevelt a couple of years ago when the state took over the failing school. Roosevelt was one of seven schools across the state that showed several consecutive years of academic failure.
The Indiana Department of Education released scores Sept. 18. Statewide, 76 percent of eighth-graders passed the English/language arts portion and 81.2 percent passed math compared to 74.2 percent for English/language arts and 80.1 percent for math in 2012. For seventh-graders, 74.2 percent passed English/language arts and 80.2 percent passed math, compared to 76.3 percent for English/language arts and 79 percent for math in 2012.
Even though there is slight improvement, the scores at Gary Roosevelt still are well below statewide averages.
Nevertheless, Vanessa Ronketto, an EdisonLearning executive who also serves as the school's superintendent, said Roosevelt made gains. She said the middle school students overall gained 9.5 percent in English/language arts and 3.5 percent in math.
Ronketto said during the past school year Roosevelt used blended learning (where students are taught through online delivery and through a teacher) with high school students, and expanded blended learning this year to the middle school. It used small group instruction, peer tutors and group projects.
Ronketto said the additional support through the Read 180 and System 44, both reading-intervention programs, have been critical to student success.