Governor Mike Pence agreed to pause the A-F school grading program because of major problems with the testing program on which the grades are based. Superintendent Glenda Ritz had advocated such a pause and Pence has adamantly refused to consider it.
A-F school grades were first implemented by then-Governor Jeb Bush in Florida and have since spread to many states where privatizers want to embarrass, humiliate, and privatize as many schools as possible. New York City tried the A-F grading system for a few years under Mayor Bloomberg, but Mayor de Blasio stopped this irrational method of appraising schools.
In Indiana, the test scores drive punitive consequences:
State test scores are key factors in determining teacher pay decisions as well as school A-F grades. Because the state introduced new, more challenging standards in 2014, ISTEP passing rates are expected to drop 16 percentage points in English and 24 percentage points in math. That also means fewer schools are expected to get A’s, and more likely will receive D’s and F’s.
Schools that earn F-grades can have serious consequences ahead of them. For example, the state can take schools over, handing them off to be run by charter school networks or other outside groups, if they repeatedly get F’s for four consecutive years. Teachers who receive poor evaluations can be fired or declared ineligible for pay raises.
You would certainly not send home a child with a report card containing only one grade, A-F. As in, your child is a C for the semester. Report cards typically consist of multiple measures. Only a dunderhead with a slavish devotion to standardized testing would give any credibility to labeling a school with a single letter grade based primarily or wholly on test scores.