The I-STEP scores released Tuesday show the charters lagged far behind Fort Wayne Community Schools. Just 43 percent of charter school students passed this year's test -- 68 percent of FWCS students passed.
State officials said Wednesday that the scores fall well behind their goal of a 90 percent passing rate.
"We don't think these numbers are acceptable, and parents shouldn't think they're acceptable, either," says Stephanie Sample, a spokesperson for the Indiana Department of Education.
"When the [state] says it supports charter schools, we support quality options. [...] You can have as many options as you want, but if they're not quality, they're not useful to parents or beneficial to students."
The Department of Education says it will work with the charter schools to improve scores as it identifies strategies used in other schools that may help them in the future.