By: Keith Klein (Photo: Chalkbeat)
The Indiana State Board of Education is overhauling the A-F grades given to schools including methodologies to examine how much students are learning.
The Board staff has offered several ideas to update the school accountability system. The revamp will include many of the same metrics schools are currently judged by, such as state test scores and graduation rates, but the Board is considering adding measures and tweaking some of the existing ones.
The proposal raises several possibilities, including incorporating science and social studies test scores in elementary school grades, using student attendance as a measure of success, and changing the way that graduation rates influence school grades.
The Board will hold several discussion sessions in the coming weeks to gather feedback and ideas from parents, teachers, and administrators.
Many urban, suburban, and rural Indiana districts had fewer students this year while enrollment surged at virtual schools.
K-12 enrollment in Indiana appears to be lower at all types of schools, although it held steady in some districts. According to Chalkbeat.
Nearly 15,000 fewer students are enrolled in Indiana schools this school year than last year, a dip of about 1.5% reflecting declines seen across the country during the pandemic.
At the same time, in a sign that some families were choosing online schools, enrollment surged at a virtual charter school and in a tiny district that runs several online schools.
The drop is part of a national trend. One reason for lower enrollment nationally is parents are not sending their children to kindergarten.
Indiana, enrollment appears to be lower at all types of schools. In Fort Wayne Schools, enrollment dropped 3%, almost 800 students.
Indianapolis Public Schools enrollment was down nearly 4%.
At Indiana Connections Academy, a virtual charter school, enrollment was up 40%.
For-profit virtual school operator, Union Schools, had a 50% increase over last year.