Indiana Daily Student

State board delays school grades

The Indiana State Board of Education voted Wednesday to delay approving Indiana school A to F grades, meaning schools will not receive their final grades for the 2013-14 school year until the SBOE reconvenes in November.

Several schools in Indiana appealed their preliminary grades at the Oct. 15 meeting, according to an SBOE release.

Two Indianapolis charter schools cited incomplete data as a factor in their scores.

Another school system requested its International Baccalaureate test scores be included in the district’s grade but was denied.

“Above all else, we want the system to have integrity,” board member Sarah O’Brien said in the release. “When we release all of these grades across the state, I want them to mean something. Looking at the data before us, I’m going to make sure I do whatever I can within statute and rule to make sure that the letter grades match what we’re seeing in those buildings.”

The grading system is meant to keep schools accountable for student growth and improvement. The SBOE and Department of Education use the system to identify schools that need more oversight or assistance.

Improvement is judged on several factors, including the proportion of students in the school that pass standardized tests as high school sophomores compared to the proportion that passed standardized tests in eighth grade. Schools are also judged according to students’ college and career readiness and graduation rate.

The DOE and the Legislative Services Agency will audit grade calculations and address the SBOE appeals before the board reconvenes to vote on approving the updated grades.

Monroe County Community School Corporation representatives announced at a Tuesday district board meeting that MCCSC received a preliminary grade of A for 2014, the third year in a row.

Administrators also said preliminary grades show 13 of 17 MCCSC schools received an A or B grade this year.

The board will reconvene to vote Nov. 5.

Tori Fater

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