Pharos-Tribune

Opinion

November 18, 2012

Fixing grading system

The argument over Logansport High School’s grade in the state’s evaluation system is a perfect example of what’s wrong with the system.

Logansport administrators say they have run the numbers, and they believe the school qualifies for a grade of B in the state’s A-F scoring system.

The Indiana Department of Education counters that it, too, has run the numbers and the school qualifies for a C.

It doesn’t really matter all that much who’s right and who’s wrong. The problem is that we’re having this discussion in the first place.

Glenda Ritz, the newly elected superintendent of public instruction, says the formula for determining these grades is so complicated that even the Indiana Department of Education doesn’t understand it. Her first priority on taking office should be to change that.

The process also needs to be quicker. It’s ridiculous that schools are more than halfway through the first semester before they find out how they scored the previous school year.

How can schools effectively address their shortcomings when they find out so far into the school year the issues they need to address?

There is no reason state officials should not be able to hand out these grades at least by mid-summer, preferably sooner.

How would the state react if schools were this slow in evaluating their students? Teachers are expected to calculate student grades in a matter of days, not weeks or months. Why shouldn’t the state be held to a similar standard when it comes to grading schools?

The state also needs to take a look at fairness. Schools should have a reasonable chance at success regardless of their demographics.

It does not speak well of the state’s scoring system that the bulk of failing schools are in areas of high poverty and most top-rated schools are in suburban school districts with many more affluent households.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • THEIR VIEW: Littering shows disregard for surroundings Numbers tell a sad story about the disregard many Hoosiers have for their surroundings. Too many in Indiana don't care enough about the environment to prevent them from cluttering the countryside by carelessly tossing litter along the side of roadway

    April 18, 2014

  • WOLFSIE: High-tech got you down? I love where I bank. It's a branch inside of a big supermarket. I can make a modest withdrawal and then go and blow every last penny in the cookie aisle. The tellers at the window appreciate me. They know about my obsession with round numbers and und

    April 18, 2014

  • PETERS: Grizzly bear may help human medicine I've gained 5 pounds since last summer. My body mass index (BMI) is still fine, but I need to stop gaining to keep it that way. Grizzly bears put my weight gain to shame. In the late summer, they eat some 50,000 calories per day and gain more than 1

    April 18, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Lawmakers fail to act on the issue After several years of fretting over Indiana's ongoing methamphetamine problem, the Indiana General Assembly continues to struggle for a solution. The issue seems to come up every session, given that Indiana leader the nation in meth lab seizures. Bu

    April 17, 2014

  • WILLIAMS: Feelings of the flowers I took one of those fun tests on Facebook to see what kind of flower I am and lo and behold, it said I was an orchid! That is so wrong because I have always thought I was the exact opposite of an orchid. I'd characterize myself as a daisy. You know,

    April 17, 2014

  • HAMILTON: Government as innovator? You bet! Five years ago, the federal government spent $169 billion to fund basic research and development. This fiscal year, it's down to $134 billion. People who believe in public belt-tightening applaud drops like that. I understand why: there are many reas

    April 17, 2014

  • PARKER: It's time to take a joke, America In selecting Stephen Colbert to replace David Letterman as host of the "Late Show," CBS has waged war on America's Heartland -- or so proclaims that Palm Beach font of heartland mirth, Rush Limbaugh. Don't you believe it, Heartlanders. But wait, ther

    April 16, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Constitutional convention won't work today There seems to be a growing idea that we need a Constitutional convention. That, of course, is the other way to change the Constitution. Amendments have been used 27 times to make changes, ranging from limiting the president's term of office to the d

    April 16, 2014

  • KITCHELL: Forum about adding answers, subtracting questions A week from tonight, Logansport residents and those outside Logansport who purchase electricity from the Logansport Municipal Utilities will have a chance to find out some things for themselves. A free forum at McHale Performing Arts Center will feat

    April 16, 2014

  • PUBLIC FORUM: The people are losing control of its government The people are losing control of government President Obama and progressive Democrats and Republicans are changing the landscape of our country by bypassing our Constitution and what our forefathers fought and gave their lives for. Their philosophy c

    April 16, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should mushroom hunters be allowed to forage off-trail in Indiana state parks?

Yes
No
Undecided
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.