What's In An "A": State Ranking Breakdown

By John W. Davis

August 31, 2011 Updated Aug 31, 2011 at 11:34 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - Adequate Yearly Progress or AYP is a state and federal requirement that stems from the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act.

"If you just say the letter grade and don't add any explanation to it, I think if you're just an average person and you don't know the details behind it, it can be very very confusing," said Indiana Department of Education Assistant Superintendent for Policy Dale Chu.

However, some critics say the grades are "hype" or "spin."

Here's the breakdown:

For your child's school to make AYP, nearly 80% of the students needed to pass the ISTEP test.

For your child's district to make AYP, they have to pass several dozen categories by 80%, or get a safe harbor pass for improvement.

"But now that there is a letter grade on them. People are scrutinizing it more and more and more. Which I think goes back to what I said earlier that certainly no one is saying that the system as it stands is perfect," said Chu.

Meanwhile, for a district to make the grade school improvement is calculated.

That's a separate ranking, a part of Indiana's Public Law.

So, for example, if you're in the Northwest or Southwest district, which scored in the mid 80 percentile on ISTEP testing, scores only needed to go up 1%, and you get an "A" for exemplary progress.

In the Fort Wayne Community Schools and East Allen County Schools districts, which this week, released AYP results, "I-STEP" scores were in the 60% and low 70%.

However, because Fort Wayne's scores went up by 3 to 4 percent, they also received an "A" for exemplary "progress."

East Allen saw their ISTEP scores go up by 2.9%.

However, because that kind of an improvement happened for the first time in two years, they received a "C" for "academic progress."

"I think it's gonna be incumbent upon local school corporations to really explain to their communities, their parents, why is it they received their particular letter grade," added Chu.

What are your thoughts CLICK HERE to leave us a "QUESTION OF THE DAY” comment.

© Copyright 2016, A Quincy Media broadcasting station. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

To submit a comment on this article, your email address is required. We respect your privacy and your email will not be visible to others nor will it be added to any email lists.