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Report cards are due

The Indiana Department of Education releases its first set of letter grades accompanying P.L. 221, the state's accountability law rankings, on Monday. (Embargoed info was released to the media today).

Look for some surprised school patrons – not for the lower letter grades, but for the schools and districts that most have assumed would receive a grade of A. Many won't be happy to see their fine school has received a grade of B.

Fort Wayne Community Schools jumped the gun on announcing its grade. Billboards around town proudly proclaim the urban district's A performance.

Parents, in particular, need to keep the grades in perspective. What matters is how their students are performing. Failing performance in a grade A school should be cause for alarm, while high achievement in a "C" school shouldn't send them searching for a better school.

Karen Francisco, editorial page editor for The Journal Gazette, has been an Indiana journalist since 1981. She writes frequently about education for The Journal Gazette opinion pages and here, where she looks at the business, politics and science of learning as it relates to northeast Indiana, the state and the nation. She can be reached at 260-461-8206 or by e-mail at kfrancisco@jg.net.

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