The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Local Education

December 20, 2013

Area schools get passing grades from state

ANDERSON — With some exceptions, Madison County area schools scored well Friday as letter grades were unveiled by the Indiana Department of Education.

Four of Anderson's six elementary schools received A grades. Highland Middle School and Anderson High School received D grades. That was an improvement from last year's F for Highland.

Tim Edsell, Anderson Community Schools interim superintendent, said, "This is a demonstration that we're having highly effective teachers and administrators that are making the best decisions for students and providing that instruction that we believe is making a difference."

The grades have become increasingly important in recent years. They are used to determine teacher pay, school funding and the potential for state takeover to address failing schools. Members of the State Board of Education have been crafting a new A-F grading formula.

Superintendent Bobby Fields at Frankton-Lapel Community Schools saw his schools turn in high grades except for Lapel Middle School's C grade. Last year LMS scored an A.

"If you have to determine how a school is doing, I think the letter grades are better than the old system," Fields said. "Under the old system, people didn't really know what all the categories stood for. But everybody can understand what an A, B, C, D or F is. I think it's pretty fair, really. I think they're trying to accurately determine how a school is doing."

In the Shenandoah district, Shenandoah Elementary received an A, the middle school received a C and Shenandoah High School received an A. For the middle school, it was "by far the lowest grade they've ever earned," said Superintendent Ron Green.

Green said he filed an appeal with the state. He said recent ISTEP testing had gone offline during the annual test and middle school students had to continue tests during lunch time while buses were waiting.

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