Rushville Republican

December 24, 2013

RCS grades are in

By Frank Denzler Rushville Republican
Rushville Republican

---- — A grading system considered controversial my many educators and others since it was initiated in 2011 that rates Indiana schools on a alphabetic A to F scale, recently released grades for Indiana schools. The overall grade given Rush County Schools was “B.”

Individual grades for RCS were: Arlington Elementary “A,” Benjamin Rush Middle School “C,” Mays Elementary School “A,” Milroy Elementary School “B,” RES East “C,” RES West “A,” and Rushville Consolidated High School “A.”

When asked about the overall grading of Rush County Schools, superintendent Dr. John Williams said the system merely offers a brief glimpse of how a particular school does on a given day or over a short period of time and is not reflective of the overall picture regarding how a school or schools are collectively doing with regards to education.

“These grades are simply a snapshot of how our schools did in one particular moment and not reflective of how our schools are doing over a period of time,” Dr. Williams said.

According to information released by the state, the model used as a basis for the grading system was designed as a means to allow parents and a community easier understanding of the education system in place in their community compared to other school districts in the state.

Community leaders and educators argue however that grades do not take into consideration and fail to measure the efforts of school administrators and teachers to teach and educate diverse school student bodies.

Allegations have also been made that the former state school chief Tony Bennett may have altered some of the grades given to some schools, allegedly 165 schools in all. Earlier this year, Bennett resigned his position. Since that time, the Indiana General Assembly has ordered the Indiana Board of Education to come up with a new grading system that takes into account other variables including how individual schools are doing in preparing students for furthering their education by attending college and post-secondary education employment.

Prior to the currently used system, grades were given to schools based on state math and English based test scores.

“Regarding the rating, there is a great deal of concern regarding the fairness of the rating system. We are very, very pleased on the (overall) outcome of the grades. As with all evaluations, we try to look at it and read what it has to say as a means to maintain those things we are doing right and get improvement on those things and areas need improvement. In every one of our buildings that received a grade letter less than “A” we will be looking at the things that caused them to get a “B” or “C” rating and make a concerted effort to raise all of the grades,” Dr. Williams said.

Contact: Frank Denzler @ 765.932.2222 x106.