Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

November 1, 2012

Schools now judged with A-F system

Most local schools receive good grades while urban schools tend to struggle

INDIANAPOLIS — The state Department of Education released its controversial A through F letter grades Wednesday for more than 2,000 Indiana schools.

Slightly more than 40 percent of schools received an A grade, while about 7 percent of schools were given the F mark. The grades of B and C went to another 42 percent of schools, while the D grade went to just more than 11 percent of schools.

Most local schools performed well. Both Wa-Nee Community Schools and the Westview School Corp. scored an A in each of their five schools. Fairfield had three A’s and an B. Goshen, as with many more diverse school corporations throughout the state, scored mostly C’s and D’s.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett, who is up for re-election next Tuesday, hailed the new grading system as a more accurate measure of how schools are performing. But he also conceded that the new system has “some complexity” that will make it difficult for parents, students, teachers and others to understand how the grades were reached.

At a meeting of the State Board of Education today, Bennett likened the grades to the safety rating system given to cars. “You understand the rating but not everything that goes into it,” Bennett said.

Release of the grades, which are posted on the DOE’s website, was approved by the board at its meeting today. The state board had approved the new grading system earlier this year, over widespread opposition that included schools, community groups and the Indiana Chamber of Commerce.

Bennett’s opponent in the race for state superintendent, Indianapolis teacher Glenda Ritz, has been sharply critical of the new school grading system, saying its based too heavily on standardized test scores and unfairly labels schools.

Indiana’s K-12 schools have been measured and graded in the past, using a system based in part on how many students passed standardized tests. The new system incorporates a range of metrics. At the elementary and middle school level, progress made by students from year to year on their standardized test scores played a large role in the new grading system. At the high school level, college and career readiness indicators, such as Advanced Placement scores, industry certifications, and standardized test scores factored into the new grades.

Some of the lowest grades went to schools in the state’s largest urban school districts, including the Indianapolis Public Schools. Some of the highest grades went to schools in suburban schools districts, such as Zionsville Community Schools, which are located in one of the most affluent counties in the state.

But Bennett rejected the notion that the grades reflect the amount of wealth or poverty in a school district. He noted for example, that 85 percent of schools that had raised their past grades by 3 or 4 letter marks were in “high-poverty” school districts.

The school letter grades were scheduled to be publicly released earlier this month, but were delayed to give schools time to look at the data that was used to calculate the grades. Bennett said more than 140 schools appealed their grades, and 42 percent of those schools had some aspect of their data revised. He said 11 percent of the schools that appealed their initial grade received a grade change based on their appeal.

Maureen Hayden can be reached at maureen.hayden@indianamediagroup.com

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Diamondbacks beat Cubs on Wrigley's 100th birthday CHICAGO -- On the 100th anniversary of the first game at Wrigley Field, the team with the worst record in the major leagues won. And it wasn't the Chicago Cubs. After an error by shortstop Starlin Castro, the Arizona Diamondbacks rallied for five run

    April 24, 2014

  • GN140424 Emma1 Pioneer Drama Troupe to perform 'Emma' Emma has a gift for getting people together — or so she thinks. Pride and matchmaking gone awry are key to Jane Austen’s “Emma,” which will be brought to theatrical life this weekend by the Pioneer Drama Troupe.

    April 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • GN140423 west goshen dress code 04 West Goshen dress code policy unveiled GOSHEN — Solid color shirts with collars and two to four buttons are the proposed changes for students at Goshen Elementary School with a standardized dress code policy this fall.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Michigan Prisoner Escape Michigan murderer arraigned in prison escape that led to manhunt in Elkhart, LaGrange counties

    IONIA, Mich. — A convicted murderer who broke out of a western Michigan prison in February has been arraigned on escape, carjacking and kidnapping charges.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140423 Wakarusa Musical 3 'A Kid's Life' portrays sudden techno loss WAKARUSA — The young people of our present day society don’t remember ever having lived their lives without some element of electronic gadgetry becoming involved. For them, it would be difficult to fathom the possibility of a world “off the grid.” So the fourth- and fifth-grade students of Wakarusa Elementary School will offer a comedic and chaotic interpretation of such a dilemma with their upcoming musical “A Kid’s Life.”

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140423 stress relief 03 Furry pals help GC students with dog days of finals GOSHEN - Goshen College students took a break from preparing for final exams to hangout with some four-legged friends Monday afternoon.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140423 FF spring play_3547 Fairfield students to present Oscar Wilde classic BENTON — Fairfield’s musicals and plays have recently left their status as an extracurricular activity and come under the wing of the Performing Arts Department and under the direction of Andrew Muth.

    April 23, 2014 3 Photos

  • Sheriff Brad Rogers_0657 Sheriff travels to Nev. ranch in fed dispute Elkhart County Sheriff Brad Rogers has weighed in on a controversy surrounding a Nevada rancher, and visited the scene of the struggle.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140209 snow storm 05 Elkhart, LaGrange counties denied FEMA aid GOSHEN — Elkhart and LaGrange counties were not among the 19 Indiana counties that had financial aid approved Tuesday by FEMA for a January winter storm.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Prep Roundup BASEBALL Falcons garner road win The Fairfield Falcons posted a 5-4 victory Tuesday evening at Rochester. Dustin Everage (three innings), Andrew Bobeck (three) and Austin Christner (one) pitched for the winners. Everage struck out three to earn the

    April 23, 2014

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.
Poll

There has been discussion at West Goshen Elementary School to require mandatory student uniforms in the future. How do you feel about the prospect of mandatory student uniforms in a public school environment?

I think it’s an excellent idea that is way overdue
I think it’s a bad idea and would be restrictive for students and parents.
     View Results
AP Video
SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Cubs Superfans Celebrate Wrigley's 100th Raw: Cattle Truck Overturns in Texas Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming Raw: Erupting Volcanoes in Guatemala and Peru Alibaba IPO Could Be Largest Ever for Tech Firm FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers