INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Four Indiana school districts received failing grades
in new ratings approved Wednesday by the State Board of Education.
The A-F grades for the state's 289 districts were developed after the
board released ratings for individual schools last month.
The new ratings give A's to 94 districts, while 82 received B's, 91 C's,
and 18 D's, The Indianapolis Star reported. Those given F's are the
Indianapolis Public Schools, the Medora Community Schools in southern
Indiana's Jackson County and the Gary and East Chicago districts in Lake
Six districts received failing grades last year. The Kokomo and Hammond
districts improved from F's last year to D ratings.
The Indianapolis district, which has about 29,000 students, received an F
based on a score of 0.96 on a 4-point scale. Last year, the district's
score was 0.24.
District Superintendent Lewis Ferebee said he hoped that grade could
increase to a D yet this year as the district has filed a request with the
state education officials to recalculate the A-F grades for some of its
"We might not be at the bar for proficiency, but we have done a really
good job with growth and that needs to be noted," he said. "I am excited
about that progress but obviously we have a lot more work to do. I am
looking to get us out of that F category."
The Board of Education approved the district ratings with little of the
controversy between board members and Democratic schools Superintendent
Glenda Ritz that surrounded the December release of the individual school
Those ratings were delayed while reviews were made after The Associated
Press reported on emails showing Ritz's predecessor, Republican Tony
Bennett, changed the rules to raise the grade of a political donor's
charter school from a "C'' to an "A'' in 2012.
The state board is setting new standards for A-F grades to be used in the
2014-15 school year.
Ritz told WTHR-TV that the revised standards will put more emphasis on
whether students are improving on standardized tests, rather than ranking
them among students statewide.
"The big difference is that the growth component in this new system will
be based upon individual student growth, each individual child," Ritz
said. "They won't be in comparison to their peers around the state."