August 21, 2014

 

An investigation by the Indiana Department of Education has found that staff at Flanner House Charter School erased and changed students’ answers and provided actual tests in advance in order to obtain higher ISTEP scores.

 

The DOE memo to Indianapolis Mayor Ballard’s office can be read here. The memo details the investigation and the lengths of cheating that the school went to in order to increase its ISTEP scores.

 

According to reports, the school’s board met late last night and voted to close the school by September 11 leaving its nearly 200 students without a school just barely into the school year.

 

Flanner House Charter School was one of the first charter schools in the state when it was chartered in 2002 under the Mayor of Indianapolis’ office.

 

According to Chalkbeat Indiana:

 

Last year, Flanner House School made one of the biggest test score gains in the state when its ISTEP English and math passing rate jumped 42 points to 95 percent.

 

That put Flanner House — whose students almost all come from families poor enough to qualify for free or reduced-price lunch — in the top .01 percent statewide for the year. It outscored all but two schools in Carmel, for example, the state’s top-performing district where just 7.6 percent of students are considered poor.

 

But this year’s scores, released earlier this month, showed the school’s passing rate fell precipitously — down nearly 39 points to 56.5 percent passing.

 

Flanner House was back to the sort of passing rate that was more in line with its prior performance and ranked in the bottom 11 percent of schools in Indiana.