Local schools give mixed reviews on new A-F grades


The Indiana Department of Education released a new set of grades for all schools in the state Friday.

The A-F ratings were delayed for months after it was discovered former State Superintendent Tony Bennett had purposely changed the grades of certain schools to make them look better, prompting the state to issue a review of the rating system.

Because of the controversy, the state will be using a new grading system for the 2014-15 school year.

But that doesn't mean this year's grades are being ignored. In fact, some local schools are celebrating their good ratings. Others have decided to throw out the grades.

As the largest corporation in the local area with 33 schools, South Bend Community School Corporation saw a wide range of grades this year, as did Elkhart Community Schools.

South Bend schools announced in August they would not accept the A-F ratings. They released a statement to WSBT on Friday. Part of it states:

"While the flawed A-F school grading system will not provide accurate information regarding the quality of a school, we welcome and encourage all education stakeholders in the community to honestly hold all of our schools accountable for Quality Learning for Every Student Every Day."

Elkhart Superintendent Rob Haworth said the school board has decided not to comment on the district's grades because he is cautious of the rating system.

"When our state general assembly recognizes a need for a change, and that change doesn't occur, and we still do not have a new way of calculating and formulating our grades, I'm a little cautious about the grades we do have," Haworth said.

Elkhart schools improved slightly from last year, eliminating two F grades from 2012.But despite the improvements, Haworth said the ratings aren't necessarily accurate, focusing too much on student performance and not enough on student growth.

He cautioned parents not to take their children's school's grades at face value.

"The quality of the school system is not based on a one-time measure," Haworth said. "It's how their child is being cared for, being treated, or being guided, how they're being asked to exceed their expectations."

Two other districts in the area scored highly under the A-F system.

Penn-Harris-Madison received the highest marks. 13 of its schools took in A grades, with only 2 receiving B's.

Warsaw Community Schools received A's for 7 of its schools, and B's for 4.

Below are the individual school grades for the area's largest school districts:

SOUTH BEND COMMUNITY SCHOOLS:Adams High School: CBrown Intermediate Center: CClay High School: CClay Intermediate Center: DCoquillard Primary Center: DDarden Primary Center: ADickinson Fine Arts Academy: BEdison Intermediate Center: DGreene Intermediate Center: FHamilton Traditional School: AHarrison Primary Center: DHay Primary Center: CJackson Intermediate Center: BJefferson Intermediate Center: CKennedy Primary Academy: ALaSalle Intermediate Academy: ALincoln Primary Center: CMadison Primary Center: FMarquette Montessori Academy: DMarshall Intermediate Center: FMcKinley Primary Center: DMonroe Primary Center: DMuessel Primary Center: CNavarre Intermediate Center: FNuner Primary Center: FPerley Fine Arts Academy: DRiley High School: CRise Up Academy at Eggleston: NULLSouth Bend New Tech HS: DSwanson Primary Center: ATarkington Traditional Center: AWarren Primary Center: AWashington High School: DWilson Primary Center: B

PENN-HARRIS-MADISON SCHOOLS:Bittersweet Elementary School: BDiscovery Middle School: AElm Road Elementary School: AElsie Rogers Elem Sch: AHorizon Elem Sch: AMadison Elementary School: AMary Frank Harris Elementary Sch: AMeadow's Edge Elementary Sch: AMoran Elementary School: ANorthpoint Elementary Sch: APenn High School: APrairie Vista: ASchmucker Middle School: AVirgil I Grissom Middle Sch: AWalt Disney Elementary School: B

SCHOOL CITY OF MISHAWAKA:Battell Elementary School: DBeiger Elementary School: BEmmons Elementary School: AFred J Hums Elementary School: AJohn J Young Middle School: DLasalle Elementary School: BLiberty Elementary School: AMishawaka High School: BTwin Branch Elementary School: A

ELKHART COMMUNITY SCHOOLS:Beardsley Elementary School: DBristol Elementary School: CCleveland Elementary School: AEastwood Elementary School: CElkhart Central High School: BElkhart Memorial High School: CHawthorne Elementary School: DMary Beck Elementary School: DMary Daly Elementary School: BMary Feeser Elementary School: AMonger Elementary School: ANorth Side Middle School: BOsolo Elementary School: CPierre Moran Middle School: CPinewood Elementary School: ARiverview Elementary School: ARoosevelt Elementary School: CWest Side Middle School: BWoodland Elementary School: B

GOSHEN COMMUNITY SCHOOLS: Chamberlain Elementary School: FChandler Elementary School: DGoshen High School: BGoshen Middle School: CModel Elementary School: DParkside Elementary School: BPrairie View Elementary School: BWaterford Elementary School: DWest Goshen Elementary School: B

WARSAW COMMUNITY SCHOOLS:Claypool Elementary School: AEdgewood Middle School: BEisenhower Elementary School: AHarrison Elementary School: BJefferson Elementary School: ALakeview Middle School: BLeesburg Elementary School: ALincoln Elementary School: AMadison Elementary School: BWarsaw Community HS: AWashington Elementary School: A