Education, From The Capitol To The Classroom


The A-F panel participated in an activity to add input to other member's suggestions for rewriting the statewide accountability school system.

Meet The Education Leaders Rewriting A-F Accountability Rules


The panel tasked with revising Indiana’s accountability system has just six weeks to rewrite the rules used to assign schools letter grades.

Typically overseeing the state’s accountability system falls to the State Board of Education. This time, an independent panel will take a first stab at rewriting the system. Indiana last updated its rules for calculating school accountability in 2011. That’s when the state started assigning letter grades based on a complicated measure called “the growth model.” But after just one year, state lawmakers flagged that system for a rewrite.

So Indiana’s school accountability system was already on track to be replaced when it came out that former state superintendent Tony Bennett and his staff changed the letter grades of at least 165 schools. Though an independent review of the 2011-12 grades concluded Bennett’s actions were “plausible,” state leaders have called for increased transparency in whatever accountability system comes next.

That’s why Governor Mike Pence, State Superintendent Glenda Ritz, Speaker of the House Brian Bosma and Senate President Pro-Tem David Long announced an independent panel would make recommendations on how to rewrite the system to the State Board.

Ritz will co-chair the panel with Southwest Allen County Schools Superintendent Steve Yager, an appointee of Senator Long.

Here’s who else sits on the panel:

  • Bluffton High School Principal Steve Baker, appointed by Long
  • Huntington teacher Melanie Park, appointed by Long
  • Indiana Chamber of Commerce Vice President of Education and Workforce Development Policy Derek Redelman, appointed by Long
  • Brownsburg Community Schools Superintendent Jim Snapp, appointed by Pence
  • Stonybrook Intermediate School Principal Robert Lugo, appointed by Pence
  • Indianapolis teacher Casandra McLeod, appointed by Pence
  • Special Assistant to the Governor Claire Fiddian-Green, appointed by Pence
  • Shelby County Superintendent Shane Robbins, appointed by Bosma
  • Key Learning Community Principal Sheila Seedhouse, appointed by Bosma
  • Marion County teacher Jessica Dunn Feeser, appointed by Bosma
  • Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana Chief Operating Officer Scott Bess, appointed by Bosma
  • Evansville teacher Keith Gambill, appointed by Ritz
  • Beveridge Elementary Principal Cheryl Ramsey, appointed by Ritz
  • Portage Township Superintendent E. Frataccia, appointed by Ritz
  • Indiana Department of Education Director of Student Assessment Michele Walker, appointed by Ritz


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Though Tony Bennett‘s controversial changes to Indiana’s A-F school rating formula left more than 160 schools with higher grades, another relative handful of schools saw worse grades. Should state officials throw those grades out? Keep them? Raise them? And what about next year’s grades? Those are the thorny questions Bennett’s successor, state superintendent Glenda Ritz, […]

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