BLOG – Because of changes to the state’s accountability formula, many schools saw substantial improvement last year across Indiana. Officials aren’t quick to pat themselves on the back. They’ve said because of using a component for “growth in ISTEP scores,” even a slight improvement would cause substantial growth for the school grade. How did it impact the grade of your local school?
According to the IndyStar:
Grades are based on student performance and student growth or improvement on standardized tests, and graduation rates, for high schools. This is the second year that growth has received added weight in the state’s accountability system.
Improvements in student growth could explain the bump in state grades, despite lackluster achievement scores on the ISTEP test. Those scores were released last month. Overall, state performance was largely flat.
Despite its flaws, it’s still the only benchmark we have for our schools. Let’s take a look at what happened at the beleaguered Muncie Community School District:
|East Washington Academy||D||B|
|Grissom Elementary School||C||C|
|Longfellow Elementary School||B||D|
|Mitchell Elementary School||B||B|
|Muncie Central High School||C||B|
|North View Elementary School||C||C|
|Northside Middle School||D||D|
|South View Elementary School||C||D|
|Southside Middle School||D||D|
|Storer Elementary School||A||A|
|Sutton Elementary School||D||D|
|West View Elementary School||B||A|
As you can see, no significant changes within the school district over the two year period. What doesn’t bode well is both middle schools are rated a D.
Also, most of the elementary schools on the south side of Muncie are rated D’s.
Muncie Central High School did improve from a C grade to a B which aligns itself with the nearly two-thirds of state’s schools which are now A or B schools.
One other note, Aspire Charter Academy dropped from a D to an F. Burris Elementary School fell from a C to a D and Burris Laboratory School dropped from an A to a B.
The IndyStar addressed proficiency in ISTEP scores or the fact many of our students didn’t receive passing scores. The lack of competence is cause for overall concern with one state official claiming, “We might be masquing a real problem by using a factor for growth.”
The IndyStar elaborated:
When considering only proficiency performance — students who actually passed — on the ISTEP test in elementary and middle schools, nearly two-thirds of schools would actually receive D and F grades. At the 10th-grade level, more than 90 percent of high schools would receive a D or F based solely on ISTEP scores.
Those schools performance scores were boosted by their growth scores, based on how much students improved from one year to the next.