Statement of Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz on Indiana’s A-F Accountability System

Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Daniel Altman
Press Secretary
(317) 232-0550
daltman@doe.in.gov

INDIANAPOLIS - In response to recent reports regarding Indiana’s A-F accountability system, Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction issued the following statement:

What happened with A-F Accountability Grades in 2011-2012?

“As Superintendent, I am committed to a strong accountability system that is fair and transparent.”

“As I indicated at my February testimony before the Senate Education Committee, my office has had concerns about inconsistencies with Indiana’s A-F system that were reported by schools through appeals and communications to the Department of Education.

“In light of recent developments, the Department began a probe into the A-F data system. Upon our preliminary examination, the Department has verified that there was manipulation of calculation categories and the Department has also determined that there are broader issues that need to be examined.

“At this time, it is premature to discuss any findings in light of the external review of the A-F accountability system ordered by Senator Long and Speaker Bosma and in consideration of other potential investigations, including the Indiana Inspector General, mentioned in press reports. This afternoon, I will be meeting with Senator Long and Speaker Bosma to discuss the Department’s side-by-side analysis of the data calculations for the A-F for the 2011-2012 school year."

What is the plan for calculating 2012-2013 A-F Accountability?

“This problem is most troublesome for the Department and the State Board of Education. Speaking as the Chair of the Board, the process must wait until the 2011-2012 data examination is complete. At that point, the Department and the State Board must determine best course of action in calculating A-F for 2012-2013."

What is the process for developing a new A-F accountability system for 2013-2014 as required by the Indiana General Assembly?

“During the most recent legislative session, the General Assembly gave direction through HEA 1427 to develop a new A-F accountability system for 2013-2014. We have been charged with developing a fair, transparent and credible system to placed schools in categories for school improvement, utilizing academic achievement and individual student growth data.

“In order to build confidence in a new system, the process will need to involve experts, key constituencies, members of the Department of Education, members of the Board, and, of course, members of the Legislature. The Department has already begun this process, but there are questions regarding what must be completed according to HEA 1427 by November 15.

“This afternoon, I will be conferring with Senator Long and Speaker Bosma about that process in order to get clarification. Because the stakes of this system are so high for our educators, our schools, our communities and our students, we all want to be sure that proper time is afforded for the process."