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IDOE Awaits Turnaround Data…Or Lack Thereof

The IDOE collected I-STEP attendance data to help determine whether some schools should be shut down because of poor performance.

An Empty Classroom

Photo: Ben Skirvin/WFIU

Classrooms at some schools could be empty if adequate progress is not made.

Now that the Indiana Department of Education‘s series of turnaround hearings for 18 high schools at risk for state intervention are over, the agency awaits the latest data to see if they have made progress.

“We are anxious to find this information out because it will tell us which of the 18 schools have come off the list, so to speak, have improved into a new classification and which remain,” said IDOE Director of School Improvement and Turnaround Jim Larson  “Because those that remain, as [Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony] Bennett has said, some intervention will be applied to those that remain.”

Under Public Law 221, school classifications involve the analysis of I-STEP ECA attendance data. The information is used to determine in which of five categories each public school resides. Under the law, a school only has to make a 3 percent improvement to move up from probation to the second-lowest category, which is “academic watch”.

The law calls for state intervention for schools on academic probation for several years, which could include personnel changes, merging with another school or assigning a management team to operate the school. Turnaround meetings were held for schools in South Bend, Hammond, Fort Wayne, East Chicago, Marion, Indianapolis and Gary.

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