Panel to review state’s A-F grading system

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INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana lawmakers have created a review panel to assess Indiana’s school grading system in the wake of the scandal involving former Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett.

Leaked emails showed Bennett and his staff changed the formula to keep a charter school from getting a less than desirable grade.

Gov. Mike Pence, Superintendent Glenda Ritz, House Speaker Brian Bosma and Senate President Pro Tem David Long signed a Memorandum of Understanding to create the group, which will advise the State Board of Education as it rewrites performance evaluation standards.

The panel will include 17 members. The Indiana Department of Education, the Senate, the House and the governor will each appoint four members (one teacher, one principal, one superintendent and one technical advisor each). Ritz will also serve on the panel and co-chair the group with another member.

The group will examine the state’s school accountability system and make recommendations for improving assessment. Its final report is due no later than Nov. 1, 2013. The panel has been instructed to make sure that the system is fair and will share any requested technical or formula information.

Pence called accountability “essential” to success in Indiana’s schools.

“The Accountability System Review Panel will make recommendations regarding revisions to the school accountability system, and I look forward to working together to create a fair system that families, community stakeholders, teachers and schools can embrace with confidence,” he said in a statement.

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