Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Opinion

November 3, 2012

Indiana's new A-F grading system is incomplete

GOSHEN — Several days ago the Indiana Department of Education issued its statewide report card, assigning A through F letter grades for each school. As expected, most rural and suburban schools fared quite well on the assessments. And, as expected, most urban districts did not grade as strongly.

First of all, we would like to congratulate all the schools in our area that received high marks from the state. Both Wa-Nee Community Schools and the Westview School Corp. received straight A’s, meaning each school in those corporations is an “A” school. Fairfield Community Schools also excelled with three A’s and a B.

These grades were determined by a formula using standardized ISTEP testing results and year-to-year progress on those results. There is a little more to it than that, but ISTEP is the crux of the system.

Second, we would like to congratulate all the schools in our area that did not receive high marks from the state. We certainly don’t view these letter grades as a complete assessment of what’s happening in our schools. Take Goshen schools, for instance. The average school grade here was a D. Does that mean Goshen Community Schools are not doing a good job? Does that mean our students are on the verge of failure? Does that mean our teachers have little interest in helping our kids learn?

No, no and no. And that’s where this system is flawed. Education should not be about comparing one school district to another, which is what this system ultimately begs people to do. Education is about individual students and each one is unique.

Tony Bennett, Indiana’s superintendent of public instruction, has defended the new grading system, stating that accountability measures have changed the culture in Indiana’s schools. He trumpeted the process in a column that ran in the Oct. 21 edition of The Goshen News.

“For the first time in our state’s history,” Bennett wrote, “chronically low-performing schools are having tough conversations about what changes must be made for students’ best interests.”

Text Only
Opinion
  • MAUREEN HAYDEN: 9/11 Commission chair scolds Congress Retired Congressman Lee Hamilton has warned of the perils of political ideology, calling the body where he spent 34 years “noxiously partisan.” Now, he worries the divide is downright dangerous. A co-chairman of the 9/11 Commission, Hamilton and fell

    July 28, 2014

  • GN140725 fair faces flowers 2 OUR VIEW: Another great fair is in the books Here at The Goshen News there are always mixed feelings when the Elkhart County 4-H Fair concludes for the year. On one hand, we’re as exhausted as anybody. This year’s nine-day event kicked off on July 18 and ran seemingly non-stop until the Mad Bom

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Full STEAM ahead for Fairfield Fairfield Community School students and parents are enjoying their summer holiday and the Elkhart County 4-H Fair this week, but looking ahead to the coming school year, there are big decisions to be made that will impact their lives.The school board

    July 26, 2014

  • MORTON MARCUS: Tax simplification in Indiana no simple matter The Governor and his select invitees to his closed tax conference last month praised simplifying Indiana’s tax code. It is an idea better loved by Americans than baseball, apple, pie or motherhood.There is no question that our national and state tax

    July 23, 2014

  • Rep. Kubacki still on a mission INDIANAPOLIS State Rep. Rebecca Kubacki had plans for her return to the General Assembly next January.The two-term Republican from Kosciusko County wanted to exert “full force” to roll back a law that prevents the children of undocumented immigrants

    July 21, 2014

  • Setting up the'LeBron Bayh' comeback saga INDIANAPOLIS — This could be the saga of “LeBron Bayh.”Like a thunderhead brewing in the distance, you could see this one coming. This was the progression: former state Democratic Dan Parker announces he will not become a candidate for mayor of India

    July 20, 2014

  • Maybe parks need to be watched 24/7 It was disturbing news last week when Goshen park officials found Rogers Park had suffered $5,000 in damage at the hand of vandals. Since vandalism is an ongoing problem in the city’s parks, we think it is time to elevate the conversation about findi

    July 20, 2014

  • Community gets behind try-athlon Saturday was another great day in Goshen. The 10th annual Kids’ Try-athlon came off with a bang. It is one of the signature events of the Goshen Parks and Recreation program, and appears to get bigger and better each year. This year, 360 kids from ag

    July 17, 2014

  • Let's go 'all-in' for 4-H fair's food drive Elkhart County is “all-in” for the upcoming food drive record attempt at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair.Fair organizers want the food drive to set a new Guinness Book of World Records mark for the most pounds of food collected during a one-day food driv

    July 16, 2014

  • GN140710 kosciusko county fair 12 OUR VIEW: 4-H is the foundation of local fairs Has it been a year already? It doesn’t seem too long ago when the crunching of metal and the whiff of overheating radiators from the annual Demolition Derby drew the curtain on the 2013 Elkhart County 4-H fair, one of the best-attended editions in lo

    July 13, 2014 1 Photo

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video
US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating
Poll

With military action and tensions escalating between Russia and Ukraine, as well as Israel and Palestine, are you worried that the U.S. and other nations may get drawn into these conflicts?

Yes, it is a great concern of mine
I’m a little worried, but not too much
No, I’m not worried at all
     View Results