Board Looks to Revamp Grade Scale for Indiana Schools

Courtney Williams's picture
Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Indiana State Board of Education is considering changes to its new A-to-F grading system for schools after objections from many high schools that received C ratings despite high student test scores.

The revisions proposed Monday would have given about half of all high schools grades of A or B. This year, 19 percent were rated A or B because many schools had inadequate progress by at-risk students such as those in special education programs or from low-income families.

State schools superintendent Tony Bennett, however, said the new system might not be tough enough, The Indianapolis Star reported.

"We need to create a grading scale that reflects reality," Bennett said.

The new rules would have rated 16 percent of high schools with a D or an F -- down from 21 percent under the existing rules.

Indiana would need to receive a waiver from the U.S. Department of Education to remove the cap of a C rating on schools that don't make adequate progress on state tests as required by the 2002 No Child Left Behind law.

Bennett said he thought a situation in which too few high schools received D or F grades could hurt Indiana's waiver request. Nationally, he said, far higher percentages of low-performing high schools are common.

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