Sunday, August 4, 2013

Task Force to Review School Grading System; Two Public Schools Could Have Avoided Take Over by Christel Standards

In further fallout from the revelations of Tony Bennett's efforts to manipulate Indiana's school grading system, Senate President Pro Tem David Long and House Speaker Brian Bosma have announced Friday the creation of an independent task force to review the system. The two members of the task force are John Grew, a former aide Gov. Frank O’Bannon, and Bill Sheldrake, the former head of the Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute. The task force's work is expected to be completed by Labor Day. Read more here.

Scott Elliott of the Indy Star reports that two struggling Indianapolis public schools would have avoided being taken over by the state had they been granted the same considerations given to Christel House. Like the charter school, the two public schools had just expanded to include middle school students who brought the schools' grades down. Unlike Bennett's extraordinary efforts to help Christel House by excluding its middle schoolers, Bennett refused to honor the request of of the IPS superintendent to do the same for his schools. The president of the Indiana State Teachers Association made no bones about how she viewed Bennett's actions: "It’s time to call the Tony Bennett letter-grading scandal exactly what it is — cheating. There are no excuses for the actions taken by Bennett and his staff, as revealed in the string of emails, other than favoritism, cronyism, self-interest and hubris — none of which has a place in public school policymaking.” Read more here.