As ISTEP Scores Delay School Grades, Are Those Grades Even Legal?

Sep 3, 2015

If Glenda Ritz puts off grading schools this year, the State Board of Education may balk.
Credit Kyle Stokes / http://indianapublicmedia.org/stateimpact/

State education and legal officials are looking into a potential problem with the law that mandates schools receive annual A-through-F accountability grades.

The law that mandates the state gives schools A-F grades each year has been around since 1999, but the law has been tweaked several times over the last few years, as policy changes around standards and testing arose.

The issue at hand is whether the State Board of Education correctly followed the letter of the law in transitioning from the old system. If not, it’s possible schools might not receive a grade this year and the state could face issues on the federal level.

State Sen. Luke Kenley (R-Noblesville) says he was made aware of the potential problem during a meeting with the Department of Education Tuesday.

“That was one of the ones that the DOE said to me that there may be a problem there,” Kenley says.

But DOE spokesperson Daniel Altman wouldn’t say whether there was even a meeting let alone an issue.  He says the department always reviews the laws before going forward with procedures like calculating A-F grades.

Altman and Kenley say the Attorney General’s office and the Legislative Services Agency are reviewing the law to see if there are any issues.