school grading system

Kyle Stokes / http://indianapublicmedia.org/stateimpact/

State education and legal officials are looking into a potential problem with the law that mandates schools receive annual A-through-F accountability grades.

The law that mandates the state gives schools A-F grades each year has been around since 1999, but the law has been tweaked several times over the last few years, as policy changes around standards and testing arose.

Warsaw Community Schools / https://www.flickr.com/photos/95469015@N02/8707445809

Numbers released this week by the Indiana Department of Education show disappointing results for Clinton County schools.

For every school with an “A” grade, there was one school with a “D” or an “F”. The four "F"-graded schools all belong to the Community Schools of Frankfort. The corporation received a “D” grade overall.

Frankfort Senior High School is the only school in the corporation that received an “A”.

Assistant superintendent Joel McKinney attributes the poor grades to the student body as a whole struggling with testing.

Phil Jern / https://www.flickr.com/photos/pjern/2150874047

After a delay of more than two weeks, parents can now find their child‘s school grade as issued by the state.

The State Board of Education voted Wednesday to approve the A-to-F grades after delaying the vote from their October meeting to allow for more verification. Board members, over the objection of State Superintendent Glenda Ritz, wanted to double-check the numbers due to a data error affecting the grades of five schools.

Ritz files lawsuit against SBOE action

Oct 23, 2013

State superintendent Glenda Ritz has raised the stakes of her showdown with Indiana’s top education panel, naming all ten members of the State Board of Education as defendants in a lawsuit she filed Tuesday in Marion County Circuit Court.

At issue is the calculation of A-F school letter grades, which Superintendent Glenda Ritz’s office would typically handle. But State Board of Education members sent a letter last week asking the Indiana General Assembly to intervene.

Indiana House Minority Leader Scott Pelath (D-Michigan City) says the state Inspector General’s investigation into the school grade changing scandal involving former State Superintendent Tony Bennett is taking too long.

A-F grades for won't change for seven schools

Oct 3, 2013

Seven schools caught up in an investigation of Indiana’s A-F accountability system will keep the letter grades they got in 2011-12.

An independent review released last month concluded the changes former state superintendent Tony Bennett’s staff made to most schools’ letter grades were “plausible.” But there were still a handful of schools the Department of Education flagged because they had not received their grades in accordance with rule.

Two outside policy analysts have concluded former State Superintendent Tony Bennett’s last-minute changes to the state’s A-F grading formula were “plausible.” You can read the full report HERE.

Speaker of the House Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) and Senate President Pro Tem David Long (R-Fort Wayne) commissioned the report amid controversy the former state superintendent had boosted the school letter grade of a favorite Indianapolis charter school.

Pence still wants A-F grades for schools this year

Aug 16, 2013

Governor Mike Pence says schools should still receive state letter grades this year, despite questions about how Indiana’s ex-schools chief calculated last year’s A-through-F ratings.

Pence’s comments to reporters Thursday comes as state officials work to re-write the Indiana’s system for grading schools based on their test scores.  The A-F formula came under fire months before the release of emails from former state superintendent Tony Bennett’s time in office raised fundamental questions about how his staff calculated last year’s grades.

IN school letter grades delayed

Aug 8, 2013

Indiana education officials will not issue letter grade ratings for schools this year until they complete a probe of how last year’s grades were calculated.  State Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz says the investigation of her predecessor’s administration could cause “great delays” in the release of the A-through-F ratings.

Department of Education officials have opened an internal inquiry into how former state superintendent Tony Bennett tweaked the state’s school grading formula, boosting a favorite Indianapolis charter school’s grade from a C to an A. 

Indiana lawmakers want to throw out the state’s current A to F school accountability system and direct the State Board of Education to develop a new one. 

Members of both parties are uniting behind a single message – the current school accountability system doesn’t make sense.  But some are split on what the new system should look like. 

Senator Jim Banks (R-Columbia City) says, while the current system is impossible to understand and explain, he wants to retain the A to F framework.