Pence calls for review of state’s A-F school grading system

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Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is calling for a review of the state’s grading system for Indiana schools.

The announcement follows a report that former Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett adjusted the system to benefit the Christel House Academy charter school on the south side of Indianapolis. That school is run by Christel DeHaan, a prominent Republican donor.

Bennett, who announced his resignation as Florida’s education commissioner on Thursday morning amidst the scandal, said the state noticed a “statistical anomaly” that his staff was trying to adjust. He said the problem affected 13 schools.

In a statement, Pence said he wants the Department of Education to complete a “thorough and timely review” of the grading system.

“Governor Pence believes in accountability and that students, parents and teachers deserve to know our state has a fair and impartial grading system that accurately describes the performances of our schools,” said Kara Brooks, Pence’s press secretary.

“The governor supports our A-F grading system and believes that the people of Indiana should have confidence in the integrity of that system,” Brooks continued. “Today, at the direction of Governor Pence, Claire Fiddian-Green, Special Assistant for Education Innovation and Reform, urged the Department of Education to conduct a thorough and timely evaluation of the questions surrounding the A-F grading system and to report their findings to the State Board of Education at the upcoming August meeting.

“After the Department of Education reports its findings to the State Board of Education, the Governor believes we will be able to make an informed decision about how we might best ensure public confidence in our A-F grading system going forward.”