A School Accountability Panel created by state lawmakers during the 2019 legislative session approved a set of recommendations this week that could lead to significant changes in how Indiana grades the performance of its local high schools moving forward. Co-chaired by two members of the State Board of Education, the 15-member panel was charged with looking beyond the traditional measures of school performance – primarily standardized test scores and graduation rates – toward more meaningful measures of student preparation for success in college and careers.

The panel recommended keeping an academic proficiency assessment and graduation rates as factors in gauging school performance, but those indicators would account for no more than 30% of a school’s overall letter grade. Instead, the bulk of a school’s grade would be based on student performance relative to one of three graduation pathways – enrollment, employment or enlistment – with multiple options for students and schools to demonstrate success. Those options include students enrolling in postsecondary education without the need for remediation, completing industry-recognized credentials and apprenticeship programs valued by employers and enlisting in military service upon graduation.

“We believe that an outcomes-based approach to school accountability supports an education system that is more relevant for Hoosier students and more responsive to meeting the talent needs of Indiana employers,” says Jason Bearce, the Chamber’s vice president of education and workforce development. Bearce served on the school accountability panel as a representative of the business community.

The panel’s recommendations will go to the Indiana General Assembly and State Board of Education.

Resource: Jason Bearce at (317) 264-6880 or email: [email protected]