PLYMOUTH — The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) released Public Law 211 (PL 221) and Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) results this week.
According to a press release, results varied for both accountability systems across the state.
“We have really seen some schools make big leaps in improvement for both PL 221 — Indiana’s accountability system for public education in grades K-12 — and AYP,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Tony Bennett said. “Some schools still have a long way to go, but I am pleased to see a number of schools improved their status this year. These results show educators and parents, especially for elementary and middle schools are setting high expectations for all students, and students are achieving to those expectations.”
The release also included the following information concerning PL 221: “In its fifth year of ratings, this accountability system showed improvement for many public schools around the state. Results show 38 percent of public schools made Exemplary Progress, 8 percent made Commendable Progress and 27 percent made Academic Progress. Public Schools in the lowest two categories, Academic Watch and Academic Probation, sit at 13 and 14 percent, respectively.
Compared to a year ago, 42 percent (756) of schools moved into higher categories this year, 39 percent (707) remained in the same category, and 19 percent (354) dropped to a lower category. Among school corporations, 45 percent (130) improved, 42 percent (123) stayed the same, and 13 percent (39) showed worse results than last year.
The state’s elementary schools fared best overall, with 89 percent making progress (i.e., rated in the top three categories). In contrast, 75 percent of high schools placed in the two lowest categories: Academic Watch or Academic Probation.
“I am extremely proud of the Indiana schools that showed improvement this year, especially those making strides by pulling their students out of the lowest performing category,” Bennett said. “Our state’s accountability system plays an important role in ensuring our students receive the best education possible. Next year we will make it even easier for the community to understand the system by changing current category names to transparent A through F letter grades. For those schools not making the grade, I believe community support and pressure will ultimately drive them to do a better job for Indiana’s students.”
In the coming years, the IDOE intends to use a grading system that could make it easier for interpretation of scores. The following outlines the plans: “Passed by Indiana lawmakers in 1999 prior to the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), PL 221 places public schools into one of five categories based on three factors: student pass rates on the ISTEP+ tests and End-of-Course Assessments, improvement on these passing rates, and federal AYP determinations. The State Board of Education voted on May 5, 2010, to adopt A through F letter grades to replace the category labels and to separate the federal AYP system from state accountability determinations. The State Board is currently working to establish the metrics for the letter grades, which will be assigned for the first time based on results from the 2010-11 school year.”
Patrons can review the results for their local schools by visiting the internet website at www.doe.in.gov/pl221 .