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State seeking comments on overhaul of school letter grades

An overhaul of the state’s school letter grade system is underway by the Indiana State Board of Education. Last week, the board released a draft framework. During this review of the state’s A – F accountability system, the board is seeking comments and thoughts from educators. Make your voice heard.

As there are different metrics used for grades K – 8 and 9 – 12, there are separate feedback portals for each set of grade levels:

The current A – F accountability system for grades K – 8 relies heavily on standardized test scores, giving equal importance to proficiency and growth. Grades 9 – 12 also includes graduation rates and college and career readiness.

Indiana needs to move forward with an accountability system that recognizes school success and continuous student improvement, rather than a punitive system of school letter grades.

ISTA is advocating for three main components in a revised accountability system:

Professional accountability factors:
  • Professional development opportunities for educators onsite and during contract hours and teacher retention outcomes at school and district-level
  • Ensuring that all schools have fully licensed educators in every classroom to maintain a stable learning environment for students
  • Reduce reliance on standardized test scores and focus more on educators’ professional judgment
Resource accountability factors:
    • Annual salary increases (below or above district averages as a baseline)
    • Considerations for school socioeconomic factors
    School climate and working conditions factors:
      • Appropriate class sizes
      • Administrative feedback to educators
      • Well-rounded curriculum opportunities for all students and extracurricular options
      • Student and parent engagement

      A panel of educators, four of whom are ISTA members, will meet on Thursday to answer questions and address issues around creating a new accountability system for schools.

      ISTA appreciates having educators’ voices included in this process, and we look forward to improving on factors that will result in a more equitable, productive and positive system.