Report Finds School Grade Revisions 'Plausible'

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A bipartisan report recommends the state should make revisions to the school performance grading system. It also says there should be a moratorium on school interventions by the state until changes are in place. Consultants John Grew and Bill Sheldrake also found that revisions to one school's grade "were plausible." The review was launched after the Associated Press published emails showing changes to the grade for Christel House Academy.

The consultants found the school's treatment was "consistently applied to other schools with similar circumstances."

The report's recommendations include a process to develop a new accountability system that would have less reliance on standardized test scores and more focus on individual student growth "based on criterion referenced measures."

You can view the Executive Summary by clicking here.Source: John Grew and Bill SheldrakeStatement From Governor Mike Pence

Indianapolis –

“Governor Pence commends the work of the independent, bipartisan task force charged to examine Indiana’s A-F School Accountability Model. John Grew and Bill Sheldrake conducted a thorough review and demonstrated professionalism throughout the process. The Governor looks forward to working with legislative leadership, the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the newly created Accountability System Review Panel, which will make recommendations for the State Board of Education’s consideration regarding revisions to the A-F model as required under House Enrolled Act 1427.”

Source: Office of the Indiana GovernorStatement from Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz

“I want to thank President Pro Temp Long and Speaker Bosma for their leadership in conducting this swift review with the Department of Education. I also want to thank John Grew & Bill Sheldrake for their diligent work in preparing this report.

“The Department of Education believes that today’s report shows that discrepancies were found in the calculations of 2011-12 accountability grades regarding the adherence to State Board of Education rules and the application of those rules. I believe in a strong accountability system that is accurate, transparent and drives school improvement. The Department of Education is committed to strengthening our accountability system to address its flaws that have been talked about in our schools and communities since its inception.

“The Department of Education appreciates the statistical work of today’s report and will review its findings and recommendations to inform any decisions that will be made regarding 2011-12 grades that were issued, the 2012-13 grades that will be issued, and moving forward to work with the Accountability Panel.

“Moving forward, we need an accountability system that is fair, transparent and trustworthy. As Superintendent, I will work with the Accountability Panel and leaders throughout the state to build just that system.”

Source: Indiana Department of Education

Statement from the Indiana Chamber of Commerce CEO Kevin Brinegar

“The Indiana Chamber believes the recommendations issued in this review are valuable and should be given strong consideration. In particular, we support the recommendation that the accountability system ‘should incorporate measures that involve less reliance on standardized tests passage rates and more reliance on individual student growth based on criterion-referenced measures.’

“This framework is exactly what the Indiana Chamber testified in support of when the accountability rule was being developed by the Indiana Department of Education and presented to the State Board of Education. The Indiana Chamber will continue to advocate to these two entities for an accountability measurement system that focuses primarily on school improvement (and less on standardized testing pass rates).”

Source: Indiana Chamber of Commerce

Statement from House Democratic Leader Scott Pelath

INDIANAPOLIS –

"Those guys tried their best. But it’s going to be hard to get the stench off the A-F system. (Former Superintendent of Public Instruction) Tony Bennett let a skunk spray all over it.

"The fact is people will never fully trust grades doled out by politicians for political purposes. The grades are for rewarding friends and punishing the weak. That's why some communities in Indiana are pledging to ignore them altogether.

"Other investigations are continuing. When they're all done and we add them up, maybe we'll slow down on the experiments and remind ourselves that education is about the kids, not the powerful. There isn't anything from the episode that will help make a child score better on a math test."

Source: Indiana House Democrats

Statement from Indiana Democratic Party Chair John Zody

INDIANAPOLIS --

"It's clearly going to take a lot of smart, dedicated Democrats to clean up the mess Tony Bennett left behind. As that process moves forward, we'd all be wise to bear in mind that these aren't just grades on paper; they're schools in our communities that teach our children and prepare them for future success. We have to make the best decisions for those students, not decisions that are convenient for our political allies. That's where Superintendent Bennett lost his way, and we have to make sure it never happens again.

"Bennett's actions speak to the lack of accountability in state government that continues even today. The Pence Administration's demonstrated practice of refusing to collaborate on education policy has become clear in recent weeks, and that runs counter to common sense and what Hoosiers are all about."

Source: Indiana Democratic Party