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Tuesday, Nov. 28
The Indiana Daily Student


State gives schools A-F grades

The Indiana Department of Education released new A-F accountability grades Wednesday. Compared to last year, more Indiana schools received the state’s lowest rating.

About 7 percent of schools got an F, up from 5.3 percent in 2011. Fewer schools received an A this year, dropping from 47 percent in 2011 to 40 percent in 2012.

The IDE introduced the current A-F accountability system in February to ultimately help close the achievement gap. The system relies on standardized test scores to determine a student’s growth, which the state has always kept record of but only decided last year to use as a way to measure progress in Indiana schools.

This growth model, and the reliance on standardized test scores, has been a subject of controversy, though.

The A-F grades are fair and comprehensive measures that stimulate student growth, Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett said.

“The results of our new approach to grading schools are already making a measurable difference in student performance,” Bennett said in a press release. “Indiana’s educators should be celebrated for their hard work and success.”

Bennett’s opponent in the current election, Democrat Glenda Ritz, said the A-F system is a “pass/fail” system that does not truly measure student growth, perpetuating a culture that blames teachers for school failures.

Though more schools received Fs in 2012 than in 2011, and fewer received As, many schools improved.Twenty-eight schools that received Fs in 2011 earned Cs or higher in 2012. Almost all of those schools meet the federal requirements for free-and-reduced-lunch programs, an indicator of high poverty.

— Gage Bentley

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