Posted: Mon, 08/31/2015 - 1:39pm Updated: Wed, 07/06/2016 - 9:19am

In 2013, the Indiana General Assembly added IC 20-31-8-5.4to the Indiana Code (P.L. 286-2013). This statute required the State Board to establish new A-F categories and new standards of assessing school performance. The new standards were required to be based on a measurement of individual student academic performance and growth to proficiency; and were not to be based on a measurement of student performance or growth compared with peers.

The Accountability System Review Panel, established by a Memorandum of Understanding entered into by the Speaker of the House, President Pro Tempore of the Senate, the State Board of Education, the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Governor, conducted research and provided recommendations to the State Board of Education regarding the composition of the new A-F system. The Panel presented its final report to the State Board on November 13, 2013 and presented its recommendations for the new A-F system to the State Board on September 22, 2014.

On October 29, 2014 the State Board filed a Notice of Intent to adopt a rule to establish the new categories or designations of school performance per IC 20-31-8-5.4. At its January 7, 2015 business meeting, the Board adopted proposed language that would add 511 IAC 6.2-10 to replace the old A-F accountability system (511 IAC 6.2-6). The Board adopted the final rule that establishes the new metrics of Indiana’s student-centered accountability system on May 7, 2015. The rule was approved by the Attorney General on June 4, 2015, approved by the Governor on June 12, 2015, filed with the Legislative Services Agency on June 15, 2015 and posted on July 15, 2015. The rule is effective March 1, 2016, and is applicable beginning with the assessment of the 2015/16 school year.

Background

In 1999, the General Assembly passed Public Law 221-1999, which created a performance-based accountability system. In response to this legislation, the State Board, Department and Education Roundtable collaborated over the next two years to establish the administrative rules outlining the accountability system. These rules were finalized and in place by the end of 2001. Schools were labeled as either “exemplary progress”, “commendable progress”, “academic progress”, “academic watch”, or “academic probation” under this accountability system. Schools were placed in one of these categories for the first time for the 2004/05 school year. In 2011, the State Board adopted a rule to overhaul the accountability system. This overhaul aimed to separate adequate yearly progress (“AYP”) from state accountability; revise the criteria used to place schools in accountability categories; and assign categories based on an A-F grading system.

Old A-F Model

Grades were determined for elementary and middle schools by first establishing a preliminary English/Language Arts (“E/LA”) score and a preliminary Mathematics (“Math”) score based on the percentage of students that passed the mandatory statewide annual assessment. A preliminary score would then be increased or decreased based on whether the school raised or lowered student growth and met participation rate targets. The final scores for E/LA and Math were then weighted equally to determine the final overall grade.

Grades were determined for high schools by first establishing a preliminary E/LA score and a preliminary Math score based on the percentage of students that passed the mandatory statewide annual assessment. A preliminary score would then be increased or decreased based on whether the school raised or lowered student growth and met participation rate targets. The final score for E/LA and Math were then weighted to determine the final performance and improvement points. Next, a high school’s four year graduation rate was determined and translated into the final graduation rate points. Lastly, a high school’s college and career readiness score was determined based on the percentage of graduates who passed an Advanced Placement exam, passed an International Baccalaureate exam, received dual college credit or received an industry certification. The performance points, graduation rate points and college and career readiness points were then weighted to determine the final overall grade. For the 2012 school year, the weights were distributed as follows: Performance = 60%, Graduation Rate = 30%, College & Career Readiness = 10%. These weights changed each year to increase the value and weight of College & Career Readiness and decrease the value of E/LA and Math.

This model will be utilized for the last time to calculate A-F grades for the 2014/15 school year. For information on Indiana’s new student-centered accountability system, please visit Indiana Student Centered Accountability.

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