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THURSDAY,NOVEMBER OCTOBER 11, THURSDAY, 1, 2012

THE DEARBORN COUNTY REGISTER

Student academic performances were Flawed A-F system weighed heavy in school letter grades must be replaced Most Ind. schools receive As and Bs, Dearborn Co. also has some Cs and Ds More than 61 percent of Indiana’s schools received A or B letter grades for the 20112012 school year, Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Tony Bennett announced at the Wednesday, Oct. 31, State Board of Education Meeting. In total, 40.9 percent of schools earned As, 20.1 percent of schools earned Bs, and 20.3 percent of schools earned Cs. Only 18.6 percent of schools earned D or F grades, similar to last year’s percentage and lower than in the 2009-10 school year. This year, 207 schools received As for the first time. “These fair and comprehensive measures of school performance demonstrate that school leaders and teachers are focusing on the skills our students need to succeed in their academic and professional careers,” said Bennett. “The results of our new approach to grading schools are already making a measurable difference in student performance, and Indiana’s educators should be celebrated for their hard work and success.” In addition, 28 schools receiving Fs for the 2010-11 school year earned Cs or higher this year; eight of those schools each moved from F to A. Overall, 43 schools moved up at least three letter grades. Since 2009, the IDOE has increased support for struggling schools, dedicating almost $128 million to low performing schools to help them implement dramatic and comprehensive improvement plans. Sunman-Dearborn Middle School, whiched moved from a D to an A, was one of seven Southeast Indiana schools recognized by Bennett for significant gains. This year, new metrics making use of the latest advances in measuring student academic performance were used to calculate school grades. At the elementary and middle school level, the Indiana Growth Model factored heavily in to the scores of many schools demonstrating progress toward closing the achievement gap or strong overall academic growth. At the high school level, college and career readiness indicators, such as Advanced Placement success, factored in to the grades. The U.S. Department of Education granted Indiana a waiver for increased flexibility from certain provisions of the federal No Child Left Behind Act based on the quality of IDOE’s application, which included these new accountability metrics. This waiver allowed Indiana to remove the Adequate Yearly Progress cap that kept many successful schools at the C level year after year. The new category placements provide several relevant examples of local success that should guide school leaders looking to focus on the skills and instructional priorities that drive academic results. Of particular interest is the large

number of high poverty schools making significant gains this year over 2011. Overall, 84 percent of schools improving at least three letter grades met federal free and reduced lunch Title 1 requirements. Many of these schools earned bonus points for driving student growth—a measure not considered in Indiana’s previous school accountability metrics.

About the A through F Accountability Model

Beginning with the 20102011 school year, the SBOE changed labels for school categories based on student performance from the terms Exemplary Progress, Commendable Progress, Academic Progress, Academic Watch and Academic Probation to easy-to-understand letter grades (A, B, C, D and F). The A through F labels have improved transparency by allowing parents and community members to better recognize how Indiana schools are performing. Following the move to A through F letter grades, the SBOE also adopted a new methodology for determining grades for schools and school corporations. This new methodology holds schools and school corporations to higher standards and provides a more accurate picture of their performance by incorporating student academic growth and graduation rates as well as college and career readiness indicators. Letter grades for high schools are calculated based on performance (Algebra 1 and English 10 End of Course Assessments), student improvement, graduation rate, and college and career readiness indicators (such as Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and industry certification exams or earning college credits). Letter grades for elementary and middle schools are based upon English/Language Arts and Math ISTEP+ performance, participation and improvement as well as student growth. The Indiana Growth Model tracks the progress of students from year to year and recognizes dramatic gains in proficiency regardless of whether students “pass” or “fail” a test.

Know the score

For 2011-12, English, math, and graduation rate each constitute 30 percent of the final score while college and career readiness comprise the remaining 10 percent. Each score is multiplied by its weight and then all four scores are added together to generate the school’s overall score which is then translated into a grade. Beginning with the 201213 grades, the CCR weighting will increase by five percentage points each year while the English and math weighting shall each decrease by 2.5 percentage points annually.

2012 A-F Statewide Totals – Percentages and Total Schools 2012

As Bs Cs Ds Fs As Bs Cs Ds Fs

2011

40.9% 20.1% 20.3% 11.5% 7.1%

47.2% 9.5% 25.9% 12.2% 5.3%

2012

2011

855 421 425 241 148

997 201 547 257 112

2010

43.2% 9.3% 23.8% 11.6% 12.1% 899 194 496 242 251

2010

More info at www.doe.in.gov/improvement/accountability/faccountability.

School report cards

School

2012 2012 2011 2010 School School School School Points Grade Grade Grade

Sunman-Dearborn Community School Corporation North Dearborn Elem.

3.25

B

B

B

S-D Middle School

4

A

D

D

S-D Intermed. School

4

A

A

C

Bright Elem.

2.75

C

B

A

Sunman Elem.

3.50

B

B

A

East Central HS

3.55

A

C

F

Immediately after the Indiana State Board of Education voted to release the A-F grades for individual schools, Glenda Ritz, Democratic Candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction, held a press conference and called for an independent audit of DOE data and offered her own vision for meeting federal requirement relative to reporting school performance. Tony Bennett’s A – F grading system is the clearest way for voters to see the differences in our educational philosophy. His ideas are based on using complicated formulae of flawed data to punish schools with the ultimate goal of taking them out of local control and putting them into a government system that ultimately privatizes them. My vision for education will focus on instruction and will not treat students as data sets. In my administration, student proficiency will be evaluated by true growth measurement tests that inform educators, parents, and students of true performance levels in the areas of reading, writing, and math. Schools will not be evaluated to punish them and take away their funding, but evaluated to provide support to address any challenges. My vision does not paint communities as failures when students attending their schools are struggling. Under A-F, Tony Bennett is saying to new businesses and homebuyers, Stay away from this community – it is failing.” Strong public schools are the strongest partners a community has in creating the values that companies seek when looking for a new location. A welleducated workforce and schools that provide a high quality education for each student is a promise I can make to every community in Indiana. My vision assures taxpayers that their local school boards, administrators and educators will work with parents and others to get the best education their tax dollars can buy. The constant funneling of decisions about curriculum, calendars and teacher competency up to the state level must stop. Local control best serve communities, schools and students. I am calling for an independent audit of all DOE data analysis. I know of memos from IDOE to school corporations instructing the manipulation of alternative assessments for special needs students. I know school districts can’t verify student growth information to validate their accountability grades. The education community has lost faith in DOE’s ability to calculate the scores. At a time when data is used to make every decision, it is vital that the math is correct. Tony’s A-F system is so complicated, even his own staff doesn’t understand it, so how do taxpayers know the truth about education in Indiana? This flawed A-F system must be replaced. I will work with the members of the legislature, local school boards, parents and educators to replace this system with a system that will be easy for all parties to understand. Taxpayers will see how the assessments are constructed and the role each factor plays in evaluating student progress and school performance. Resources will be directed to solve problems on every level.

South Dearborn Community School Corporation

Gardens Alive!, Inc.

Dillsboro Elem.

4

A

C

C

Manchester Elem.

3.75

A

A

A

Moores Hill Elem.

2.50

C

A

A

SD Middle School

1.25

D

D

D

SDHS

3.15

B

C

F

Aurora Elem.

2.50

C

A

C

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Lawrenceburg Community School Corporation L’burg HS

3.25

B

C

F

G’dale Middle School

2.50

C

A

D

L’burg Primary School

1

D

D

A

Central Elem.

1

D

D

C

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For a phone interview call toll-free: 866/503-6357 • EOE

29017

Private Schools St. Paul School

2

C

D

A

St. Mary School

4

A

A

A

St. Lawrence School

4

A

A

A

INDIANA

KC

DRIVING SCHOOL

531 Green Blvd Aurora, IN 47001

kcdrivingschool@yahoo.com 28569

19621

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