Grades throw schools a curve

The principal of Creekside Elementary School wants to know how well his fourth-grade students have to perform on ISTEP next month to earn the school a better grade from the state.

Creekside Elementary earned an A from Indiana in 2011 but received a C last year, under Indiana’s new grading system. The state typically doesn’t intervene with schools unless they receive an F grade for at least four consecutive years, but teachers and principals know parents judge their schools based on the letter grades they receive.

The new system grades schools based on the number of students who pass ISTEP, as well as the number of low- and high-performing students who improve. Depending on how much students’ scores improve, a school’s letter grade could go up or down.

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