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June 1, 2020

3/11/2020 2:06:00 PM
Local schools get their report cards
With the excetion of Sand Creek School, which moved up from a C to a B, grades held steady for local schools.
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With the excetion of Sand Creek School, which moved up from a C to a B, grades held steady for local schools.

Indiana released 2019 A-F grades for schools and districts last week in a quiet rollout that points to the diminished meaning of the measure.

Last month, lawmakers passed a two-year "hold harmless" provision to protect schools and teachers from the negative consequences of low ILEARN scores. Scores dropped to a new low in the first year of this new state standardized exam first given spring 2019.

The hold harmless blocks a school's grade from falling by allowing it to be calculated using 2018 scores if those scores were higher than the current year. That helped most schools in the state: Only 120 schools scored well enough in 2019 to see their grades increase and one was in Jennings County.

According to Superintendent Teresa Brown, Sand Creek Elementary improved its grade from a 'C' to a 'B'.

As widely expected, the exemption means 2019 A-F grades look a little rosier: Most schools - 73% - received an A or B. Fewer schools received an F compared to the year before.

Without the exemption, state officials said most schools would have received a D or an F. That would have affected teacher's evaluations, and therefore pay, and put many schools on the path to state intervention.

No school's assessment will drop until, potentially, next year.

According to Superintendent Brown, Teachers here in Jennings are evaluated by a committee of 20 or so people who work in education locally. Accountability and guidelines are all determined by the legislature up in Indianapolis.

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