Chesterton Tribune



Most Duneland schools edge up in state grades

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Duneland Schools mostly improved or maintained their grades in the Indiana Department of Education’s A-F rating for the 2017-18 academic year.

The IDOE last week released a statement announcing the release of School Accountability Grades. According to the IDOE, “Roughly 22 percent of schools improved one or more letter grades, with nearly nine percent improving their letter grade to an A. Overall, close to 64 percent of schools received an A or B.”

Duneland is ahead of these trends, with four of its nine schools (44 percent) improving, and two of the nine (22 percent) improving their letter grades to As. Overall, seven of the nine (78 percent) received A or B state grades.

CHS and Jackson Elementary have earned A grades for two years in a row now. Bailly Elementary has earned a B for three years in a row.

The current accountability standards for state grades have been in place since the 2015-2016 school year. In that time, several Duneland grades have fluctuated up and down, this year earning the same grades they earned in the 2015-2016 year.

Brummitt Elementary improved from a C to a B for the 2017-2018 year, which was a return to its grade in the 2015-2016 year. Liberty Intermediate and Liberty Elementary both received A grades this year, improving upon last year and returning to their top-grades from the 2015-2016 year. Yost Elementary earned a B this year, improving upon the 2016-2017 school years’ C in a return to its grade from 2015-2016.

Westchester Intermediate saw a decline from A grades in both the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 school years to a C grade this year. CMS dropped from a B in both the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 school years to a C this year.

Two Grades This Year

This year the IDOE released two sets of grades--the state grades parents and administrators are familiar with that measure student performance and improvement on standardized tests--and a second set of “federal” grades.

The “federal” grades are still assigned by the state, but are assigned based on different accountability requirements to comply with the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

The State Board of Education (SBOE) and the IDOE could not agree on which accountability system was better, the ESSA or Indiana’s own, but Indiana is bound by law to evaluate everything the ESSA deems important, regardless.

There is significant overlap between Indiana’s accountability system and ESSA requirements, but they are not interchangeable ÐÐwhich is why the SBOE and IDOE opted to provide two grades for each Indiana public school in 2018.

According to data presented at a March 21 work session of the SBOE, standardized test scores and the individual improvement students show year-to-year carry a lot of weight for the state grades. The state grades can also be influenced by graduation rates and how well a school complies with Indiana mandates on college and career readiness. For the purpose of the state grade evaluation, schools may exclude “at-risk” students who are enrolled in approved credit recovery programs.

The federal grades consider attendance and require that the performance of all students, despite “at-risk” status, who are enrolled for at least 90 percent of the school year is reflected in a school’s grade.

The IDOE reports 67 percent of schools received the same grade on both systems and 31 percent received a higher state grade.

Those trends ring more true in surrounding Porter County than they do for Duneland. Seven of nine (88 percent) of the Duneland schools received the same federal and state grades. Two of nine (22 percent) received higher state grades.

Of 40 public schools surrounding Duneland, 70 percent of schools received the same state and federal grades and 30 percent received higher state grades.

None of the Duneland schools or surrounding 40 public schools received a federal grade higher than its state grade.

Those interested can view charts from the March work session comparing the state and federal accountability requirements at this link:

To view the full list of 2017-2018 Indiana School Accountability Grades, visit:

Duneland federal grades: Two Duneland schools received federal A grades--Jackson Elementary and Liberty Intermediate. Westchester Intermediate and Chesterton Middle School received Cs. The rest of the Duneland Schools received Bs.

St. Patrick Catholic School

State grades: Saint Patrick School was awarded an A for the third year in a row.

Federal grades: Nonpublic schools like Saint Patrick are not evaluated for federal grades.

Discovery Charter School

State grades: Discovery Charter School was awarded a B for the third year in a row.

Federal grades: Discovery Charter School was awarded a B.

Valparaiso Community Schools

State grades: All Valparaiso Community Schools received A grades with the exception of Memorial Elementary. Memorial Elementary received a B.

Federal grades: Four Valparaiso Community Schools received federal A grades--Valparaiso High School, Cooks Corner Elementary, Heavilin Elementary, and Northview Elementary--the rest received Bs.

Portage Township Schools

State grades: All Portage Township schools, with the exception of Central Elementary, received B grades. Central Elementary received a C.

Federal grades: All Portage Township schools received B grades except Central Elementary, Paul Saylor Elementary, and South Haven Elementary, which received Cs.

East Porter County School Corporation

State grades: Three EPCSC schools received A grades and three received B grades. The schools receiving A grades were: Morgan Township Middle/High School, Morgan Township Elementary, and Washington Township Middle/High School. The schools receiving B grades were: Kouts Middle/High School, Kouts Elementary, and Washington Township Elementary.

Federal grades: Two EPCSC schools received federal A grades and the rest received Bs. Earning A grades were Morgan Township Middle/High School and Morgan Township Elementary.

Porter Township School Corporation

State grades: Boone Grove High School received an A grade, and Boone Grove Middle School received a B. Porter Lakes Elementary and Boone Grove Elementary received Cs.

Federal grades: One Porter Township school--Boone Grove High School--received a federal A grade. The remaining three schools received Cs.

Union Township School Corporation

State grades: Union Township Middle School and Union Center Elementary received A grades. Wheeler High School and John Simatovich Elementary received Bs.

Federal grades: Union Center Elementary received a federal A grade. The remaining three Union Township schools received Bs.

Metropolitan School District of Boone Township

State grades: Hebron High School received an A, Hebron Middle School received a B, and Hebron Elementary received a C.

Federal grades: Hebron High School and Hebron Middle School received federal B grades, and Hebron Elementary received a C.


Posted 11/26/2018




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