News From Terre Haute, Indiana

August 3, 2013

Indiana Superintendent ‘not happy’ with A-F school grade controversy

Dianne Frances D. Powell
The Tribune-Star

CLINTON — Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz talked at length Friday night about the A-F grading system for schools at an event at South Vermillion High School.

Ritz said she is “not happy” about the recent controversy because “it delays everything that’s going on at the schools,” such as the teacher compensation evaluation and other initiatives she talked about at the event.

Ritz said the Department of Education will conduct an investigation about the 2012 grades and then decide on further action, such as if grades need to be re-issued.

“There’s going to be lots of things to talk about,” she said.

But Ritz said they are moving quickly to get that resolved so they can move forward.

“But then, the department has been charged, along with the state board of education, of developing a new A-F model, of which I lobbied heavily for,” Ritz said.

She said they are working on deadline to develop a model “that will be fair, that will be transparent.”

Ritz said that the current A-F model involves “calculations that are extremely complex.”

“I cannot tell schools what their grade means,” she added.

The new model, she said will be “simple, clear, and it needs to be transparent.”

Ritz also said that she is opposed to labeling schools A-F because students are sometimes judged by employers based on their school’s grade.

She hopes to work on eliminating that to provide the best opportunities for all students in Indiana.

Tribune-Star Reporter Dianne Frances D. Powell can be reached at 812-231-4299 or dianne.powell@tribstar.com.