Updated: Wednesday, 31 Oct 2012, 11:05 AM EDT
Published : Wednesday, 31 Oct 2012, 7:44 AM EDT
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - Most of the state's public schools have earned an A or B with their performance, the state announced Wednesday.
Nearly 41 percent of schools earned an A, and about 20 percent earned a B, Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett announced at a state Board of Education meeting Wednesday morning. Of those, 207 earned an A for the first time. About 20 percent of schools earned a C, and nearly 19 percent earned a D or F.
"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," Bennett said.
The state also noted 28 schools that received an F last year improved to C or higher this year. Eight of those earned an A.
The grading system, which was instituted in the 2010-11 academic year - gives each school grades from A through F, based off a variety of factors, including schools' efforts to improve test scores.
But critics say the ranking system - and its methodology, which was modified in the 2011-12 academic year - is too complex. Some school districts have voiced concerns over how the new system measures student improvement and worry it doesn't give parents an accurate picture.
The state says the new model holds schools and 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, as measures of success.
The state emphasized its increased support for struggling schools, noting that since 2009, it has dedicated nearly $128 million to low-performing schools to help them implement improvement plans.
It also noted that many high-poverty schools made significant gains. Of those schools that improved at least three letter grades, 84 percent met federal free and reduced lunch Title 1 requirements. Many of those schools earned bonus points for driving student growth - a measure not considered under previous metrics.
Broad Ripple Magnet High School - which had earned an F for six consecutive years, leading to i ntervention by the state last year - is among the schools that made significant improvement. It went from that F rating to a B this year.
"The dedication of our educators at Broad Ripple High School as they work diligently with the Scholastic Corporation, the lead partner assigned by IDOE, was the major driver of the success," IPS Superintendent Dr. Eugene White said. "Authentic support from our community partners and alumni groups assists teachers and students on the path to improvement. Our students certainly are the beneficiaries of this powerful partnership between IPS and IDOE. "
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