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State DOE Releases School Corporation Grades

January 16, 2014

  01/17/14   Indiana school corporations have known their accountability grades for the 2012-2013 school year for several months; but the grades were just released by the State Board of Education to the public on January 15. The Board met on Jan. 14 and approved the grades or labels for individual school corporations. Superintendents were given an opportunity to challenge their grade by using an appeal process. To file an appeal, official paperwork had to be submitted to the state between November 15, 2013 and December 7, 2013.

Formulas are used to make determinations of school performances and improvements using data submitted and verified by the school corporations, charter schools or non-public schools. Appeals could be based on statistical errors, changed in the demographics of student populations, and errors in the data received.

Results made public on Wednesday only included Indiana public schools.

When the academic year started in the 2010-2011 school year, the State Board of Education changed the labels for school categories. The new designations are now based on school performance. Prior to the changes, schools were given labels of exemplary, commendable, academic progress, academic watch and academic probation. The state introduced the new methodology that now uses A-F grades.

According to information on the IDOE (Indiana Department of Education) website, the changes were made to help the public assess progress. Included in the IDOE explanation, is the following: “The new A-F labels improve transparency by allowing parents and community members to better recognize how well Indiana schools are performing and leading students to achieve positive outcomes.”

The A-F grading system was designed to hold schools and corporations to higher standards. Data used in labeling includes student academic growth, graduation rates, as well as college and career readiness. Percentages such as the number of students passing or failing ISTEP tests ,scores on end of course assessments at the high school level , or increases or decreases in graduation rates are entered into a formula and changed to points.

Marshall County school corporations faired very well. Culver Community Schools showed a slight decrease in points, going from 2.48 to 2.43; but stayed as a “C” corporation. Argos has a 3.19 making them a “B” school. Last year they were a 2.41, “C“.  Triton is now an “A” school corporation  with a perfect 4:00, up from 2.74 points and “C” label.

Plymouth Schools retained their “B” label with points for the 2011-2012 year of 3.37 and going to 3.49 for the 2012-2013 school year. Bremen School Corporation now has 3.08 points making them a “B” corporation for 2012-2013 school year . Last year they were a 3.93 for an “A”.

Union-North United Schools are listed under results for St. Joseph schools. They remain a “C” school increasing slightly from 2.26 to 2.80 points.

Starke County school corporations had mixed results. Oregon-Davis came up from 1.77 a “D” to 2.79 points to make them a “C“.  North Judson-San Pierre decreased slightly from 3.13  labeling them “B” to 2.96 to give them a “C” currently. Knox School Corporation is now labeled “C” with 2.46 points, up from 1.78 “D” the first year.

Among Indiana Schools with “F” labels are School of East Chicago with .53 points ; Medora Community School Corporation with .15 points; and Indianapolis Public Schools with .96 points.

Carol Anders Correspondent