Schools are getting letter grade ratings this year from both the state and federal government, and because of new education law, some schools will get two different ratings.
State officials have known about the double grade dilemma for months, as they developed and submitted the state’s federal education, or ESSA, plan for approval. It includes a federally-aligned accountability system, and the plan received approval from the U.S. Department of Education in January.
Changing the state’s system could prevent two-for-one accountability grades, but talks among members on the State Board of Education stalled in March. Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick has pushed for unifying the two, but there’s also the possibility that a re-worked state system wouldn’t do that anyway. Some policymakers say aligning Indiana’s system with the feds isn’t a priority, or even the best option.
So, schools will get two rankings for now.
The state board of education plans to release letter grades to the public this week. But agenda information posted on the board’s website shows one-third of Hoosier schools ranked differently on the federal and state scorecards, and most schools getting two different grades got a better one from Indiana.