Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

News

December 21, 2013

Decatur Schools see minor changes to accountability grades

GREENSBURG – One school in Decatur County Community Schools saw its overall grade rise slightly while another saw its overall grade drop slightly on the state’s A-F Accountability Scale.

Among all four schools, the district maintained the B that it got last year, according to data released Friday by the Indiana Department of Education. Individually, results showed:

• North Decatur Jr.-Sr. High School maintained a B.

• North Decatur Elementary School rose from a C to a B.

• South Decatur Jr.-Sr. High School maintained a C.

• South Decatur Elementary School slipped from an A to a B.

State education leaders that day also approved the grades for all other schools in the state. That includes Greensburg Community Schools, where the elementary school got an A, the junior high got a B and the senior high got a C.

The Daily News reported the Greensburg district’s scores last month after Superintendent Tom Hunter released data that was unofficial at the time. However, the superintendent felt comfortable with the data and opted to release it early.

Data under the A-F Accountability scale measures student performance and improvement on standardized tests so schools can improve. The grades have become increasingly important in recent years, being used to determine teacher pay, school funding and the potential for state takeover.

Johnny Budd, superintendent of Decatur County Community Schools, said he dislikes the A-F system, partly because it takes into account only language arts and math and disregards other subject areas that are important. The State Board of Education feels the same way and is crafting a new formula to use in the years ahead.

“The letter grade system is a snap shot,” Budd said. “A lot more goes on during the school day.”

District leaders are quick to point out the system’s shortcomings.

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