More A's and B's, fewer F's for Indiana school districts

Indiana school districts earned more A and B grades, and fewer D’s and F’s, than last year on their state report cards.

The grades for 289 school districts, based mostly on test scores, were approved and released today by the Indiana State Board of Education. Last month, the state released grades for more than 1,800 individual schools. Find your district’s grade here.

Districts received both an A to F letter grade and a numerical score on a four-point scale, similar to a grade point average. The district grades do not carry the same accountability sanctions as school grades. Schools that persistently fail can be taken over by the state, but districts don’t face that danger.

Board member David Freitas hailed the results as a good sign for Indiana.

“This is another indicator of the quality of education in Indiana,” he said. “As we look at the various trends, they’re all going up.”

Indianapolis Public Schools made one of the biggest gains in the state, but it’s numerical score remained so low that the district still ended up as one of just four in the state rated an F. It had the highest score of the F districts.

Debbie Dailey, an Indiana Department of Education data expert, said IPS fell just short of moving up to a D and will earn a higher grade next year if it continues to make gains.

“That is definitely a significant increase,” she said. “That is the correct trajectory to get out of the F category. They are four hundredths of a point away from breaking into the D category.”

The others Indiana F districts are East Chicago, Gary and Medora. Those same districts rated an F last year along with Hammond, which moved up to a D this year.

Among the other major story lines:

  • Nineveh-Hensley-Jackson schools in Johnson County was among the top 10 districts in the state for gain on its numerical score. It’s grade jumped to an A from a C last year.
  • Other Indianapolis area districts that ranked high in the state for gains made include Washington Township, which went to a C from a D; Northeastern in Shelby County, up to a B from a C; and Danville in Hendricks County, jumping to an A from a C. All were among the top 40 districts for growth in the numerical score.
  • Three other Indianapolis area districts saw their grades rise: Shelby Eastern, up to a B from a C; Eastern Hancock went to an A from a B; and Franklin in Johnson County jumped to a B from a C.
  • Johnson County’s Ediburgh saw its numerical score make among the largest declines in the state. It’s grade fell from an A to a B.
  • Twelve Indianapolis-area districts earned perfect scores: Clark-Pleasant, Westfield, Shelbyville, Western Boone, Zionsville, Hamilton Southeastern, Northwest Hendricks, Carmel, Brownsburg, Mill Creek, Center Grove and Franklin Township.
  • Other Indianapolis school districts that earned an A were: Speedway, Southern Hancock, Plainfield, Noblesville, Avon, Danville, Eastern Hancock, Greenfield, Hamilton Heights and Greenwood.