Dozens of schools impacted by school grading formula change - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Dozens of schools impacted by school grading formula change

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A report card boost? It seems it's not just one school that saw a higher grade after the former State Superintendent made some tweaks to the state's grading formula.

According to a new report released by NPR's State Impact project, 165 schools across Indiana would have had lower grades.

It all started when accusations were made that Tony Bennett changed the formula to improve a donor school's grade.

We're talking about "A" through "F" grades given to schools by the state that are based on I-Step scores.

Bennett says the move was appropriate and that move affected 14 local schools. 

"I am proud to be the superintendent of a school that has straight "A"'s. We have 15 schools and 15 "A"'s," says Superintendent of Penn-Harris-Madison Schools, Dr. Jerry Thacker.

But NPR's report shows, had the grading formula stayed the same, three Penn-Harris-Madison Schools would have received "B"'s.

"One-Hundred, Sixty-Five schools had their scores improved, but that meant they had to be really close to receiving "A"'s," says Thacker.

Madison and Elm Elementary Schools and Grissom Middle fall into that group.

Tonya Williams put three daughters through Grissom. She says it's a great school community with strong teachers. She says a "B" still would have been fine in her book. "It wouldn't bother me. It's a great school. "A", "B". Either way, it's a great school."

PHM isn't the only district that could have seen lower scores.

Concord Junior High would have had a "B" instead of an "A."

Jimtown Junior High would have had a "C" instead of a "B", according to the NPR report.

Warsaw's Lakeview would have had a "B" instead of an "A".

Superintendent Craig Hintz says he's still proud of that "A," and, "It's unfortunate that the grading controversy affected this school, but in my heart, Lakeview is still an "A" school."

To see the complete list of affected schools, click here.

A new school year of testing and grades lies ahead and when asked if he'll be keeping a close eye on Madison, Elm and Grissom, Dr. Thacker said: "We'll make sure that they continue on the path of excellence. Any school that doesn't receive an "A", we always pay close attention to. Which is one of the reasons we had straight "A"'s. We improved."

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