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Indiana Lawmakers Want To Overhaul A-F School Accountability System

Elle Moxley / StateImpact Indiana

State lawmakers say Indiana's A-F school ratings system needs an overhaul, but two bills to improve it stalled in the legislature.

State lawmakers will continue to pursue changes to the state’s A-F school letter grade system even after Indiana General Assembly derailed two proposals to change it. From Indiana Public Broadcasting‘s Brandon Smith:

A Senate bill throwing out the state’s school accountability system and requiring the State Board of Education to develop a new one failed to move forward when its author, Carlin Yoder, R-Middlebury, said he wanted instead to deal with a similar House bill.

But when the House bill then failed to pass, House Speaker Brian Bosma says legislators will look at amending the school accountability language into another bill this session.

“Most of us are in favor of the portion of the discussion that says the state Board of Education needs to look at the school accountability factors again,” says Bosma.

Yoder says he’s hoping for more than just requiring a Board of Education review.

“I think we can do better than that, actually, and I think we can give some guidelines and give a little more focus on how they should approach it.”

State Superintendent Glenda Ritz has voiced her support for overhauling Indiana’s A-F school letter ratings. Ritz, a vocal opponent of the current accountability system on the campaign trail, suggested the Indiana Department of Education instead designate schools as “focus” or “priority” to indicate measures of achievement and growth.

She testified last week that the current system doesn’t tell parents or community members much about a school’s academic progress.

“Does it represent mostly growth? Does it represent mostly achievement? And how can it represent both fairly?” Ritz asked.

We explain how school letter grades are calculated here.

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