11/02/12 By all accounts, Indiana schools appear to be improving. Dr. Tony Bennett, superintendent of public instruction, released the final grades on October 31. According to Bennett, more than 61 percent of Indiana’s schools were marked A or B letter grades for the 2011-2012 school year.

In 2011, the State Board of Education changed the labels for school categories based on student performance from the terms Exemplary, Commendable, Academic Progress, Academic watch, and Academic Probating to letter grades.

In a press release sent out shortly after the announcement was made to the Indiana State Board of Education, it was noted that 40.9 percent of schools earned an A. Of that total, 207 schools received an A for the first time. Only 18.6 percent received a D or F grade.

Bennett said, “These fair and comprehensive measures of school performance demonstrate that local leaders and teachers are focusing on the skills our students need to succeed in their academic and professional careers.” Bennett added, “Th4e results of our new approach to grading schools are already making a measurable difference in student’s performance, and Indiana’s educators shooed be celebrated for their hard work and success.”

For 28 schools that had receiving an F for the 2012-2011 school year, the news of their improvement was welcomed. All raised their grade to a Cs or higher. Most impressive was the fact that eight of the 28 moved from an F to an A.

The $128 million that was spent on increased support for struggling schools since 2009 seems to be paying off as shown by 43 schools moving up at least three letter grades.

The measurements used to grade schools this year made use of the latest advances in measuring student academic performance, according to DOE. According to information on the DOE website, “Indiana’s new A-F model holds schools and corporations to higher standards.” the model incorporates student academic growth and graduation rates, as well as college a career readiness”.

Report card grades for local schools include:

2012          2011        2010

Plymouth High School                                    A                  C              C

Lincoln Junior High                                        C                   D             C

Riverside Intermediate                                   B                    B             C

Jefferson Elementary                                       D                   A            A

Menominee Elementary                                  C                    A             A

Washington Elementary/Discovery Academy A               A             A

Webster Elementary                                        A                     A            A

Saint Michael                                                     A                    A             A

Argos Jr/Sr High School                                 B                     A             B

Argos Elementary                                             D                     B             B

Bremen High School                                         A                     A             D

Bremen Elementary/Middle                           A                     A             C

Culver Academies                                               A                   _               B

Culver High School                                             C                  A                F

Culver Middle School                                          D                  B               B

Culver Elementary                                               A                  D                B

Triton High School                                               C                   C               D

Triton Elementary                                                 C                  D                B

Carol Anders Correspondent