INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indianapolis charter school at the
center of Indiana's grade-changing scandal saw its grade drop from an "A''
to an "F'' in school grades released Friday.
The Christel House Academy benefited last year from grading changes made
by former schools Superintendent Tony Bennett. But grades released for the
2012-2013 school year showed a precipitous drop for the school founded by
top GOP donor Christel DeHaan.
Christel House's ISTEP test scores fell sharply this year, helping to
contribute to its grade decline. It also was run through the grading
formula accounting for all the school's grade levels.
Bennett's staff excluded the school's 9th and 10th grades from the
calculations last year, which helped bump its grade from a "C'' to an
"A''. A spokesman for new Superintendent Glenda Ritz could not immediately
say if the change in school configuration contributed to the sharp drop.
A Christel House spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for
The State Board of Education approved the grades for all schools
throughout the state at its meeting Friday morning. The grades have become
increasingly important in recent years, being used to determine teacher
pay, school funding and the potential for state takeover.
Bennett resigned as Florida schools chief in August after The Associated
Press published emails showing he altered Indiana's school grading formula
to benefit Christel House.
The new grades were calculated using the Bennett grading formula, which
will also be used to calculate grades for the 2013-2014 school year.
Members of the state board are crafting a new "A-F" grading formula.