A-F Grades For Last School Year Go Public Next Year
Schools get grades next week, but appeals will delay final release
State School Superintendent Glenda Ritz (wibc.com file photo)
Indiana schools will finally get their A-F grades for the 2012-2013 school year this month, but they won't actually be finalized for another two months.
The State Board of Education approved sending the Education Department's calculations of A-F scores to the Legislative Services Agency immediately, with the release of preliminary grades to schools on November 15.
Schools that don't agree with their grade will have approximately two weeks to appeal, but due in part to the Thanksgiving holiday, attorneys for the education department say they will likely not be finished handling appeals before the board's scheduled meeting on December 4. That means the board would have to hold a special meeting later in December to approve the final grades before releasing them to the public in January.
The delay in releasing the grades was expected after revelations that the staff of former State Superintendent Tony Bennett changed the grading formula just before the 2012 grades were released. This was done after it became apparent that a highly-touted charter school would get a grade of C. Part of the delay was also due to interruptions during ISTEP testing in the Spring.
Some members of the State Board have been critical of Superintendent Glenda Ritz, saying she and her staff were taking too long to calculate the grades. Ritz has publicly opposed the A-F grading system since her campaign, though she pledged to issue the grades since they are mandated by law. A letter from the board to the Legislative Services Agency asking it to help speed up the process led to Ritz suing the board, claiming they met in secret to approve the letter. A ruling is pending on whether Ritz can legally file the lawsuit - Attorney General Greg Zoeller asked a judge to dismiss it, saying only he can file lawsuits on behalf of state officials or agencies.