Wednesday, July 23, 2014

School grades

Posted on Aug. 19, 2013 at 1:00 a.m. | Updated on Aug. 19, 2013 at 7:49 p.m.

Four Elkhart County schools benefited from the change then-Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett made to the state’s A through F grading system in 2012, the situation that led Bennett to resign as the public schools official of Florida.

According to analysis by National Public Radio’s StateImpact Indiana, which examines and reports on education in Indiana, Jimtown Junior High in Elkhart, Concord Junior High in Elkhart, Northridge Middle School in Middlebury and St. John’s the Evangelist School in Goshen all had their grades raised in 2012 due to the changes Bennett made to reportedly boost charter school Christel House Academy’s grade from the state.

The Elkhart County schools are four of 165 schools in Indiana that were affected by the calculation change.

Concord Junior High and Northridge Middle School both had their grades raised from a “B” to an “A” due to Bennett’s last-minute change to the grading equations, according to StateImpact, while Jimtown Junior High and St. John the Evangelist School had their grades raised from a “C” to a “B.”

StateImpact Indiana gives a basic explanation of how the complex calculations changed through Bennett and his staff’s tinkering. The grades were raised largely because of a change to the grading equation that allowed schools to not be limited on the number of bonus points they could receive on the amount of academic growth in a particular subject.

Principals from the four local schools either did not return calls Monday, Aug. 19, for comments or had not known about StateImpact’s report.