News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

October 31, 2012

State releases new grading system for schools

INDIANAPOLIS — The state Department of Education released its controversial A through F letter grades today for more than 2,000 Indiana schools.

Slightly more than 40 percent of schools received an A grade, while about 7 percent of schools were given the F mark. The grades of B and C went to another 42 percent of schools, while the D grade went to just more than 11 percent of schools.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett, who is up for re-election next Tuesday, hailed the new grading system as a more accurate measure of how schools are performing. But he also conceded that the new system has “some complexity” that will make it difficult for parents, students, teachers and others to understand how the grades were reached.

At a meeting of the State Board of Education this morning, Bennett likened the grades to the safety rating system given to cars. “You understand the rating, but not everything that goes into it,” Bennett said.

Release of the grades, which are posted on the DOE’s website, was approved by the board at its meeting. The state board had approved the new grading system earlier this year, over widespread opposition that included schools, community groups and the Indiana Chamber of Commerce.

Bennett’s opponent in the race for state superintendent, Indianapolis teacher Glenda Ritz, has been sharply critical of the new school grading system, saying its based too heavily on standardized test scores and unfairly labels schools.

Indiana’s K-12 schools have been measured and graded in the past, using a system based in part on how many students passed standardized tests. The new system incorporates a range of metrics. At the elementary and middle school level, progress made by students from year to year on their standardized test scores played a large role in the new grading system. At the high school level, college and career readiness indicators, such as Advanced Placement scores, industry certifications and standardized test scores, factored into the new grades.

Some of the lowest grades went to schools in the state’s largest urban school districts, including the Indianapolis Public Schools. Some of the highest grades went to schools in suburban schools districts, such as Zionsville Community Schools, which are located in one of the most affluent counties in the state.

But Bennett rejected the notion that the grades reflect the amount of wealth or poverty in a school district. He noted for example, that 85 percent of schools that had raised their past grades by 3 or 4 letter marks were in “high-poverty” school districts.

The school letter grades were scheduled to be publicly released earlier this month, but were delayed to give schools time to look at the data that was used to calculate the grades. Bennett said more than 140 schools appealed their grades, and 42 percent of those schools had some aspect of their data revised. He said 11 percent of the schools that appealed their initial grade received a grade change based on their appeal.

Maureen Hayden is the Indiana Statehouse bureau chief for CNHI, the parent company of the Tribune-Star. She can be reached at maureen.hayden@indianamediagroup.com.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local & Bistate
Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy Today in History for April 18th
NDN Video
Jabari Parker's Top 5 Plays From Duke Career More Manpower Than Ever Expected At 4/20 Rally Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes My name is Cocaine Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday Don't Be A Tattletale: Bad Bullying Tips For Students The trillest thoughts on marijuana "RHOA" Star Charged With Battery
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity