St. Stanislaus School in East Chicago was recently highlighted as having a large number of students admitted as choice scholars, i.e., using a state voucher. It was also noted St. Stanislaus had a letter grade of “A” and then received a “D” the following year.
Principal Mary Jane Bartley said the letter grade was appealed but to no avail.
Throughout the school year preceding the “D,” St. Stan’s had several incidents with the Department of Education that should have raised some red flags about the accuracy of the letter grade.
A state check for the voucher students was mistakenly sent to the other St. Stanislaus School in the diocese (in Michigan City). When notified, the state seemed surprised that the Diocese of Gary had two St. Stanislaus Schools.
In the spring, students took ISTEP+ tests. St. Stanislaus in East Chicago received no student test results. When notified, the DOE promised to “look into the omission.” Then test results were sent to St. Stanislaus for students not enrolled there. Correct test information was eventually sent and then the letter grade of D was assigned. Coincidentally, the St. Stanislaus in Michigan City also received a D.
An appeal of the letter grade was made as it was evident to the principal and staff that students at St. Stan’s in East Chicago had made good academic progress during the school year. The appeal was denied.
We agree the process should be re-evaluated -- hopefully before the next assignation of letter grades.
- Barbara O’Block, Superintendent of Schools, Diocese of Gary