Deputy, MCHS get 'A' grade from state
Saturday, December 21, 2013 4:00 AM
The Indiana Department of Education released A-F letter grades for schools on Friday with most Courierarea public schools either improving or keeping the same letter grade, while private schools stayed the same or decreased.
Deputy Elementary School and Madison Consolidated High School each received an A from the state. Deputy has received an A grade since 2007. The high school improved from a B in 2012.
Rykers' Ridge and Lydia Middleton elementary schools both received B grades. Lydia Middleton maintained the same grade as in 2012, while Rykers' Ridge improved from a C.
E.O. Muncie Elementary School earned a C, up from the D it received last year.
Madison Junior High School received a D, the same grade it has scored since 2005.
Ginger Studebaker-Bolinger, Madison Consolidated Schools superintendent, said she is generally pleased with the grades, but said it's only one measure used to look at the school district's performance.
"I think we have excellent teachers working very hard in class every day, and we have students meeting expectations that teachers and administrators are asking them to meet," she said.
Bolinger added that while the junior high school's grade isn't where they want it, she believes they have measures in place to bring the letter grade up.
"(School letter grades are) one measure that we use to look at our performance. This is kind of an aggregate measure, a kind of bigger picture view. Our focus is still on individual students and how to help them be successful," Bolinger said.
"There is a focus to increase that letter grade, as in every other building that isn't at an A."
Southwestern Schools mostly saw improvements from 2012.
Southwestern Elementary School improved from a C to a B.
Southwestern Junior and Senior High School was issued a D in 2012. This year, the high school and middle school were graded separately. The high school earned a C, while the middle school earned an F.
Canaan Community Academy earned an A for its first state grade.
The Christian Academy of Madison received a D for 2013, which is the lowest grade the school has received in the last three years. The school earned an A in 2011 and Bs in 2010 and 2012.
One score remained the same for Prince of Peace schools, while the other school saw a decrease in scores this year. Pope John XXIII Elementary School received a B this year after earning an A since 2005. Shawe Memorial Jr./Sr. High School received a B for 2013, the same grade it received in 2012.
State grades have become important factors that can help determine teacher pay, school funding and - if scores are bad enough - state takeover.
Grades are based on a series of factors including test scores, graduation rates and other school performance measures.
The grading scale was brought into question this year after it was discovered that former State Superintendent Tony Bennett changed the state's grading system to benefit a charter school run by one of Bennett's political donors.
In November, the State Board of Education voted to shift the state's grading system for schools to one that is more similar to how students are graded. In the new system, schools earn percentage points that determine their grade.
While the state board of education has approved the structure for the new grading system, a new formula to determine those grades is still being developed.
Attempts to reach other local school officials for comment were unsuccessful. They will be contacted next week for comment.
Go to www.doe.in.gov for a chart of grades for all schools in the state.