News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Breaking News


August 23, 2013

Grade jump: Change in A-to-F school grade calculation benefited several Wabash Valley schools

TERRE HAUTE — At least seven Wabash Valley schools — including three in Vigo County — benefited from improved grades when Tony Bennett, former state schools chief, ordered a change in how grades were calculated last fall, according to StateImpact Indiana.

A StateImpact analysis indicates that 165 schools across the state saw their A-to-F ratings increase after last-minute changes Bennett and his staff made to the grading formula.

Those changes to the grading formula have drawn much controversy.

IDOE emails from last fall indicated the last-minute changes to the grading criteria were made to boost the grade of Christel House Academy, a charter school run by a prominent Republican donor. The Associated Press obtained the emails.

StateImpact Indiana is a collaboration of WFIU and Indiana Public Broadcasting stations “to explain the effects of state education policy on people’s lives,” according to its website.

In Vigo County, three schools saw improved grades: Honey Creek Middle School went from a C to a B; Farrington Grove Elementary from a B to an A; and Fuqua Elementary from a B to an A.

VCSC superintendent Dan Tanoos said the school district “has never been made aware that any of our grades changed because of Tony Bennett’s changing the rubrics.”

In Northeast Sullivan School Corp., Farmersburg Elementary went from a C to a B, while Hymera Elementary went from a B to an A.

In South Vermillion School Corp., Ernie Pyle Elementary went from a B to a A. Turkey Run Elementary in Parke County also went from a B to an A, according to StateImpact.

Tom Rohr, superintendent of North Central Parke Community School Corp. — which includes Turkey Run Elementary — commented: “There is so much misinformation out there and a lack of understanding on everyone’s part. Until they [state officials] do a full investigation, I don’t really know what anyone can conclude,” he said.

Under the A-to-F system, an elementary or middle school earned its grade from the average of its test scores in two subjects, English and math, according to StateImpact.

Those scores were calculated on a 4-point scale. But schools could earn up to 6 total points if they earned bonuses based on the number of students who made academic growth, according to StateImpact.

At least initially, state officials feared too many bonus points for one subject might cancel out a bad grade in the other subject. They set up calculations to limit schools’ ability to earn more than four points in any subject area, even with bonus points. The final grade comes from averaging the math and English subscores.

But under changes to the grading system, which benefited Christel House Academy and ultimately 164 other schools, those bonus points could be used in calculating a schools’ final grade, according to StateImpact.

In an interview, Daniel Altman, press secretary with the Indiana Department of Education, had no comment on the findings of StateImpact or its methodology.

“What I can tell you is that obviously, IDOE  is looking into what happened with the grades for 2011-12 and how that affects the system moving forward,” he said. Also, House Enrolled Act 1427 requires an overhaul of the A-to-F grading criteria.

Leaders of the Indiana General Assembly and current schools chief Glenda Ritz have launched investigations into the 2012 grades.

The StateImpact website is

Sue Loughlin can be reached at 812-231-4235 or


Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News Poll
AP Video
Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: Gunmen Attack Iraqi Prison Convoy Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-lift Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Plane Leaves Ukraine With More Crash Victims Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Gaza Fighting Rages Amid Cease-Fire Efforts Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Raw: UN School Used As Shelter Hit by Tank Shell Gen. Odierno Discusses Ukraine, NATO at Forum Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors U.N. School in Gaza Hit by Israeli Strike The Rock Brings Star Power to Premiere House Committee at Odds Over Obama Lawsuit
NDN Video
Bill Murray Continues To Be Just Bill Murray By Eating Some Free Bill Murray Ice Cream Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect Hillary Clinton Blamed Bill's Affair With Monica Lewinsky On Abuse He Suffered As A Child 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl

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

Real Estate News