Traditional public schools outperform charter schools
The 2016 school letter grades were released by the Indiana Department of Education today following approval by the Indiana State Board of Education. Nearly half of Indiana charter schools received a letter grade of D or F in 2016 as compared with the 14 percent of traditional public schools.
This year’s letter grades are technically the first issued following Indiana’s transition to new academic standards. The General Assembly held schools harmless for last year’s letter grades under SEA 200, which ensured grades for schools and school districts would not drop lower than their previous letter grade, despite 2015 ISTEP test results.
The Legislature also held harmless teacher evaluation ratings last session. It is unclear whether the General Assembly will enact another hold harmless provision for this year’s results. ISTA strongly supports policymakers repeating the “pause” on all of the consequences of these letter grades in order for schools, teachers and students to adjust to the transition. This is also the first year that school letter grades were calculated using Indiana’s new method of determining grades focusing more on individual student growth. In prior years, passing rates were used.