State panel recommends changes to A-F school grading system

State panel recommends changes to A-F school grading system

The 17 members of the grading system study panel were selected by Indiana Governor Mike Pence and State Superintendent Glenda Ritz.           

The push to change the school grading system came after the Associated Press published emails showing then-state superintendent Tony Bennett altered the system to benefit a campaign donor's charter school. 

The current system grades schools based on the percentage of students who pass the state's standardized ISTEP test. Students currently take ISTEP tests in 3rd-8th grades and in 10th.

The panel is recommending new state tests for 1st, 2nd, 9th and even high school juniors. The panel is also considering high school graduation rates, plus reading test performance as new factors in the grading system. 

The future of these recommendations are unclear, as Superintendent Ritz has been at odds with the Indiana Board of Education. 

Ritz filed a lawsuit last week over her claim that board of education members violated the state's Open Door Law when seeking help from a state agency to figure schools' A-F grade.

The panel is expected to present the recommendations on November 8th to the Indiana Board of Education. The board will consider adopting a new A-F grading model sometime this month.
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