The State of Indiana has received a great deal of attention for its education reform efforts, and they recently announced the details, as well as the first round of results, of their new “A-F” school grading system. As in many other states, for elementary and middle schools, the grades are based entirely on math and reading test scores.
It is probably the most rudimentary scoring system I’ve seen yet – almost painfully so. Such simplicity carries both potential advantages (easier for stakeholders to understand) and disadvantages (school performance is complex and not always amenable to rudimentary calculation).
In addition, unlike the other systems that I have reviewed here, this one does not rely on explicit “weights,” (i.e., specific percentages are not assigned to each component). Rather, there’s a rubric that combines absolute performance (passage rates) and proportions drawn from growth models (a few other states use similar schemes, but I haven’t reviewed any of them).
On the whole, though, it’s a somewhat simplistic variation on the general approach most other states are taking — but with a few twists. Read More »