(Indianapolis, Ind.) - Indiana school districts are by and large doing better in student performance than they were just a year ago.
The state Department of Education released academic progress rankings Tuesday. Standing out in this year’s rankings were 139 out of the state’s 292 districts earned either “Exemplary Progress” or “Commendable Progress” designations under Public Law 221.
According to the department, PL 221 is a comprehensive accountability system for K-12 education. Passed by the Indiana General Assembly in 1999 prior to the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, the law aimed to establish major educational reform and accountability statewide.
Districts are placed under one of five designations based on student performance – Exemplary Progress, Commendable Progress, Academic Progress, Academic Watch (priority), and Academic Probation (high priority).
In 2009 only 81 districts earned the two best designations. This year 42 percent of the state’s schools were able to improve their ranking while 39 percent stayed the same. Dropping to a lower category were 19 percent of schools.
Milan and Franklin County schools were the only districts locally to be labeled for “Exemplary Progress.” Both districts improved their standing from the “Academic Watch” category a year ago.
Sunman-Dearborn Community Schools were downgraded to “Watch” from their “Commendable Progress” ranking in 2009.
Lawrenceburg and South Dearborn Community Schools each remained in the “Watch” category.
South Ripley, Jac-Cen-Del, and Batesville school districts earned “Commendable” designations. Jac-Cen-Del sustained its previous standing under PL 221 while South Ripley improved from “Watch.” Batesville Schools fell back from an “Exemplary” designation a year ago.
Switzerland County Schools earned a “Watch” designation, the same as it’s had every year since PL 221 was first measured in 2005.
Rising Sun-Ohio County Community Schools were also placed on “Watch” for the fifth straight year. Ohio County Elementary was listed as "Exemplary" for 2010. Rising Sun High School was listed under "Probation" after being "Exemplary" for the three years prior.
You can view PL 221 rankings for your child’s school district and individual school by going online to http://www.doe.in.gov/pl221/.