By LILY REX
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.
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
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
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
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 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.
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
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.
can view charts from the March work session comparing the state and federal
accountability requirements at this link:
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.
Saint Patrick School was awarded an A for the third year in a row.
Nonpublic schools like Saint Patrick are not evaluated for federal grades.
Discovery Charter School was awarded a B for the third year in a row.
Discovery Charter School was awarded a B.
All Valparaiso Community Schools received A grades with the exception of
Memorial Elementary. Memorial Elementary received a B.
Four Valparaiso Community Schools received federal A grades--Valparaiso High
School, Cooks Corner Elementary, Heavilin Elementary, and Northview
Elementary--the rest received Bs.
All Portage Township schools, with the exception of Central Elementary,
received B grades. Central Elementary received a C.
All Portage Township schools received B grades except Central Elementary,
Paul Saylor Elementary, and South Haven Elementary, which received Cs.
East Porter County
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.
Two EPCSC schools received federal A grades and the rest received Bs.
Earning A grades were Morgan Township Middle/High School and Morgan Township
Boone Grove High School received an A grade, and Boone Grove Middle School
received a B. Porter Lakes Elementary and Boone Grove Elementary received
One Porter Township school--Boone Grove High School--received a federal A
grade. The remaining three schools received Cs.
Union Township Middle School and Union Center Elementary received A grades.
Wheeler High School and John Simatovich Elementary received Bs.
Union Center Elementary received a federal A grade. The remaining three
Union Township schools received Bs.
District of Boone Township
Hebron High School received an A, Hebron Middle School received a B, and
Hebron Elementary received a C.
Hebron High School and Hebron Middle School received federal B grades, and
Hebron Elementary received a C.