The state board of education released district A-F grades Wednesday for the 2015-2016 school year. More than 150 school districts saw their rating dip, with 90 percent of Indiana districts receiving a B or C rating.
Only 23 school corporations received an A rating. Gary Community Schools in northwest Indiana received the state’s single F rating.
As we’ve reported, the 2016 grades reflect an unexpected jump in the number of schools receiving Bs or Cs, and a sharp decrease in schools receiving As or Fs.
In 2015, 46 percent of districts received A ratings. In 2016, only 7 percent received A ratings.
Jennifer McCormick, the new state superintendent of public instruction, says seeing the decrease is frustrating.
“There’s not much credibility placed on those grades right now,” McCormick says. “But you have a lot a lot of important accountability hanging on that, including teacher pay.”
McCormick says restoring faith in the state-produced grades begins with fixing the state’s standardized ISTEP test, which largely determines school district grades.
“It’s our goal, coming out of it in the spring, to get that assessment piece right,” McCormick says.
A new formula uses test scores in a variety of ways to determine a school’s grade. Districts are rated on how many students pass, and now, for the first time, how students have improved on tests.
The 2016 grades reflect the first time in two years that Indiana districts were allowed to receive lower grades than the year before.
In 2015, the education board voted to change how they awarded A-F grades, after ISTEP+ scores across the state dropped dramatically. They enacted a “hold harmless” provision, meaning a school district’s score wouldn’t change if their 2015 score was lower than their 2014 score.
In 2016, schools were awarded whatever score they received.
Below, find your district’s 2016 score, 2015 “hold harmless” score and 2015 actual score.