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Local schools receive grade from state

MISHAWAKA, Ind.-- Not all teenagers love their high school. But Jordan Brough says hers is a Grade A school…literally.

"I think a lot of the teachers here do their best and try their best to make us happy and successful," said Brough. "They want us to succeed in life and obviously we received an 'A' so a lot of us graduate and we make it through college.”

She’s a junior at Penn High School in Mishawaka. The Indiana Department of Education gave it an "A" rating. Last year, the high school ranked two letter grades lower.

"We moved from a 'C' grade last year to an 'A' grade this year," said Steven Hope, principal of Penn High School. "We did that through the same thing that’s gotten us all of our success: great teaching.”

The teachers are so important because the rankings are strictly student performance-based. All schools in the state of Indiana are judged on the same three criteria. 

“Graduation rate, end of course assessment performance in Algebra 1 and English 10 and then college readiness," said Hope. "Those are all skills that we need to have for our students so that they are successful when they leave high school.”

The state doesn’t send evaluation teams to judge which school like they better. It’s all based on statistics.

“These are stats that we keep. These are measurements/ benchmarks that we keep and then we report that information to the state.”

Brew is proud of her fellow classmates’ marks. She says it takes more than good teachers to score this high.

“I think a lot of it has to do with the kids. How we prepare ourselves for things," said Brough. "We study, we work hard, we do our homework, we do what’s expected so I think we just really need to keep it up and the teachers need to keep it up too.

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