Indiana News

A-F Review Means Reprieve for One School, But Could Alter Other Grades

Attempt to fix error inflated grades of Speedway, 2 other high schools

9/6/2013

State school superintendent Glenda Ritz (WIBC.com file photo: Eric Berman)

The release of an independent review of Indiana's school accountability system has immediate repercussions for one school, and could affect more.

Evansville's Glenwood Leadership Academy was on the brink of qualifying for a state takeover based on a run of poor scores. State superintendent Glenda Ritz and Senate President Pro Tem David Long have endorsed a recommendation to freeze Glenwood's status because of the questions about how grades were calculated.

The report recommends lowering the grades of three high schools -- Speedway, Rossville, and Brazil Northview -- from an A to a B. One of the problems which sparked the grading controversy was a computer error which cost 165 schools bonus points for improvement. But in fixing the error, the report says officials improperly extended the fix to the high school level.

Ritz isn't saying whether she'll revise those grades, or others. She says she still has questions about whether the rules adopted by predecessor Tony Bennett were followed properly. Ritz says she's also reviewing whether to adhere to the same rule interpretations in calculating this year's grades, scheduled to be released next month.

Ritz declined comment on Bennett's motivations in revising the formula. The bipartisan report says the Department of Education was treating the Christel House charter school as a test of the system's overall credibility, and felt anything less than an A would call the system's credibility into question.

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