State officials give top ratings to more Indiana schools

More Indiana schools have received top state ratings under results from last spring's ISTEP standardized exams.

Ratings released Wednesday by the Indiana Department of Education show 29.5 percent of the state's schools received an A grade for 2016-17, up about 6 percentage points from the previous school year.

However, the number of schools with B ratings fell about the same amount, while there was little change among lower ratings. About 6 percent of schools were given F grades.

Poor grades can bring consequences for schools such as state intervention or takeover.

This year's ratings are much more stable than a year ago, when the number of schools receiving A grades fell by half after an overhaul of the ISTEP exam.

Compared to 2016, almost a quarter of schools improved by one or more letter grades in 2017, and about the same number saw grades drop. But more than half of schools ended up with the same grade as last year.

“I am encouraged by the results of our current accountability grades as an indication of the great education Indiana students are receiving,” said state Superintendent Jennifer McCormick in a statement. “Our work, however, is not finished.”

McCormick said another major shake-up would come with the state's switch to a new student test replacing ISTEP in 2019.

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