Middle of the Pact

State scoring lands PHS average score

Every year the Indiana Department of Education announces school ratings based on the efforts and accomplishments of the students and staff within the building. To get a better understanding of the score Paoli earned, one must first understand what goes into the scoring.
This year, PHS scored a C.
“There are a combination of many things that go into determining the score,” said Principal Todd Hitchcock.
One aspect of the overall school score is individual student test scores.
Achievement scores on three types of exams are a big factor that play into the overall school score.
The ISTEP tests, ECA scores and the Advanced Placement test scores all play a role in determining a school’s overall score.
Although the junior high and high school are combined, different students are responsible for the different scores. The ISTEP achievement is completely determined by junior high students. Likewise, End of Course Assessments (ECA) and Advanced Placement (AP) exams are all determined by high school students, under normal circumstances.
“Other factors include individual student growth, the overall graduation rate of our school and the total number of dual college credits earned within a classroom,” said Hitchcock.
Is this score just for show, or does it affect the students and staff of PHS?
“You want to have the best grade you can,” said Hitchcock. “The letter grade is the result of last years performance as a whole.”
Unfortunately for teachers, the score can affect them in both positive and negative ways.
“Teachers get individual evaluation scores,” said Hitchcock. “However, the overall school letter grade also factors into their overall evaluation score per teacher.”
Although teachers could possibly be given a high evaluation score for excellent performance within their classroom, the individuals overall score can be brought down by the the school’s overall performance rating. In some cases, good evaluation scores by teachers can lead to a possible pay increase. Likewise, a bad score could determine other monetary factors for teachers.
Next year, there will be a change in the way schools across the state are scored. There will be a completely different formula, meaning that our letter grade could change significantly.
“Is this score important? Absolutely,” said Hitchcock. “With that being said, our school cannot possibly be determined by a score.”


Story by: Bailey Rankin