School grading questioned
Thursday, November 01, 2012 11:00 AM
To the editor:
In February 2012, a system was pushed through that graded Indiana public schools on an A-F grading system. There were complaints from 35 speakers at the only public hearing but it was pushed through anyway.
Figures put out by the Superintendent of Public Instruction would give D's and F's to 22 percent of Indiana's public schools.
Florida was used as a role model for school letter grades. Florida gives only 6 percent D's and F's. Are Indiana schools over three times worse than Florida schools? Not by a long shot! Indiana consistently outscores Florida on the National Assessment. Indiana leads Florida on 4th and 8th grade math and on 8th grade reading by a much as 9 percent on the same test.
Some Indiana mayors have expressed concerns about inappropriately low grades and how this A-F model might hurt their recruitment of new business to their community.
In a January 2012 hearing no one spoke in favor of the A-F model but it was passed on. Can you imagine a business or industry wanting to locate in a community? The business will bring with it many high level jobs. Everything seems to be in place as it relates to logistics, infrastructures, etc. The local economic development committee is happy, the mayor is happy, the community is happy but as sort of an afterthought, the mayor informs the company representatives that the local schools have been given an F grade.
The company has second thoughts. They locate elsewhere. I use this as an illustration of many things which have be enacted recently relating to public education. As The Madison Courier indicated in its editorial of Oct. 4, 2012, "School reform plans need more time for evaluation".