More failing schools with accountability formula change

By Rachel Hoffmeyer
TheStatehouseFile.com

INDIANAPOLIS — After changing the method for calculating school accountability grades, Indiana has more failing schools and fewer schools with A’s.

The Indiana Department of Education Tuesday released A-F accountability grades for 2016. Failing schools increased by 3.5 percentage points. Schools earning an A dropped by 31.8 percentage points.

Indiana Department of Education School Accountability Grades

Indiana Department of Education School Accountability Grades

Members of the State Board of Education said some of the shift is connected to the new manner in which the accountability grades are calculated which rewards a school’s growth as well as other career-readiness standards.

“This year, Indiana implemented a new student-centered school accountability system utilizing Indiana’s new, more rigorous standards and assessments for the first time,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz said in a statement. “For those reasons, the 2015-16 school year establishes a new baseline for school accountability grades in Indiana.”

Additionally, legislators passed a law to prevent a school’s grade from being unfavorably affected by the 2015 ISTEP scores, a key factor in the accountability formula. Legislators called 2015 a transition year with higher standards and a new test, leading to significantly lower test scores.

After the ISTEP scores dipped again in 2016, school officials are already discussing trying to get accountability grades to be held harmless once again.

Schools have 30 days to appeal their accountability grade to the State Board of Education.

A full list of the grades can be found by clicking here.

Rachel Hoffmeyer is the executive editor of TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.

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