School A-F Grades Higher Than Expected
Superintendent's opponent calls for outside audit of numbers
(wibc.com photo: Ray Steele)
Grades for Indiana schools did not change as much as expected, even though the State Board of Education made it tougher for schools to receive an A.
A-to-F grades were released Wednesday morning after they were unanimously approved by the Board. They are based on ISTEP scores as well as a new formula that measures the growth in test-scores by students when measured against the past scores of their peers in other parts of the state.
The number of schools receiving a grade of A dropped from 47-percent to 41-percent, while the percentage of schools with a grade of F jumped slightly from 5.3 to 7.1-percent. Schools with a B jumped from nine-and-a-half to 20-percent, while the number of schools with a C dropped from 26-percent to 20-percent.
Department of Education projections released in February estimated that the number of schools receiving A's would plummet to 24-percent, and State School Superintendent Tony Bennett called the results "great for the state of Indiana."
Bennett's Democratic opponent in the Superintendent's race, Glenda Ritz, says she was surprised that the number of schools with A's was not lower. But Ritz also questioned the formula used to obtain the grades and called for an independent audit of the data. She says she is not questioning the legitimacy of the numbers, but claims to have heard from several superintendents who don't understand the data.
Schools that receive F's six years in a row are subject to state intervention. Five schools were taken over this school year - IPS's Emma Donnan Middle School and Manual, Arlington and Howe High Schools as well as Roosevelt High School in Gary.
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