Pharos-Tribune

State News

May 14, 2013

Indiana’s high school grad rate continues upward

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana’s reported high school graduation rate continues to improve, moving from 77 percent to more than 88 percent in less than a decade, but there are still significant achievement gaps marked by race and income.  

On Monday, the Indiana Department of Education released the graduation rates for all Indiana public and charter high schools for the 2011-12 school year. Statewide, the graduation rate is slightly over 88 percent, up from just less than 87 percent for the 2010-11 school year. Five years ago, the high graduation rate was just less than 78 percent.

The numbers show that students who are black, Hispanic or low-income still have lower graduation rates than students who are white and more affluent. Just more than 90 percent of white students graduated on-time from Indiana high schools last year, while 77 percent of black students and 84 percent of Hispanic students did.

The data released Monday also show that high schools across Indiana vary widely in their use of graduation waivers, which allow students to get their diplomas without having to pass the state’s required end-of-course assessment tests in math and English.

Of the 63,861 students who graduated from high school in the 2011-12 school year, almost 9 percent — or 5,723 students — were granted waivers so they could graduate. But in some schools, the percent reached as high as 30 percent.

Even if you exclude the waivers, and only count the students who graduated by passing the required tests, the graduation rates are still up: Just over 80 percent in 2011-12 compared to 78.1 percent in 2010-11.

The graduation rates were released without any comment from Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz, a Democrat who took over as the state’s top schools chief in January, after defeating Republican incumbent Tony Bennett. Bennett had made improving Indiana’s graduation rate one of the top goals of his administration.

David Galvin, the communications manager for the Indiana Department of Education, said Ritz was still reviewing the numbers.

High school graduation rates play a critical role in how schools and school districts are evaluated by the state under its A-to-F grading system put into place in 2011.

The state gives every school and every school district a letter grade based on several metrics, including test scores and graduation rates. Public schools with low grades run the risk of being taken over by the state, while public schools with high grades are positioned to get more state funding.

In the future, schools may find it more difficult to issue waivers to boost their graduation rates. Legislation that passed in the session that ended in April will require the DOE to scrutinize schools with higher waiver rates more closely, and students that are given waivers will have a tougher time qualifying for state aid to pay for college.

House Education Chairman Bob Behning, R-Noblesville, said the waiver information is critical to assessing the graduation rate, especially for individual schools.

“As a state, we’ve definitely been pushing to get our graduation rates up,” said Behning. “But we know there are individual schools that are granting too many waivers.”

The data released Monday shows the overall graduation rate for the state’s public high schools has continued to increase since the 2006-07 school year, with many schools in affluent districts showing graduation rates above the 90 percent mark.

Meanwhile, the overall graduation rates for non-public schools has dipped slightly: from just under 93 percent in 2006-07 to just less than 92 percent in 2011-12. (The DOE did not have the individual graduation rates for the non-public schools posted Monday.)

Some schools saw significant decreases in their graduation from last year: only 59 percent of high school students in the Gary Community Schools graduated on time in 2012, down from 67 percent the year before. Indianapolis Public Schools saw a drop from 69 percent in 2011 to 65 percent in 2012.

In releasing the state graduation rate of 88 percent on Monday, the DOE also released a second graduation rate, as calculated using a formula devised by the federal Department of Education. Under the federal DOE formula, Indiana’s graduation rate is 87 percent for the 2011-12 school year.

The state DOE and federal DOE use slightly different reporting requirements in how they track the number of students who enroll in a high school as freshmen and remain there until they graduate.  

Maureen Hayden covers the Statehouse for the CNHI newspapers in Indiana. She can be reached at maureen.hayden@indianamediagroup.com.

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
State News
  • Teen Pilot-Crash [Duplicate] [Duplicate] Family: Indiana teen pilot who crashed in ocean knew risks PLAINFIELD (AP) — Haris Suleman knew that flying around the world carried risks. But like adventurers before him, the 17-year-old pilot from Indiana also believed dreams aren't achieved without taking chances. "Why does any explorer undertake the nec

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Indy. Man who avoided prison time for rape resentenced INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An Indianapolis man who was placed on home detention after being convicted of drugging and raping his then-wife is going to prison for violating his probation. The ex-wife of 52-year-old David Wise said she felt "sucker punched" b

    July 24, 2014

  • Judge rules Indiana hog farms protected by law WINCHESTER (AP) — A judge has ruled state law protects the operator of large hog farms from lawsuits filed by residents of an eastern Indiana county. The lawsuits against North Carolina-based Maxwell Farms accused it of allowing hog waste to accumula

    July 24, 2014

  • Ex-Indy officer appeals convictions in fatal crash INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A former Indianapolis police officer is appealing his convictions for killing one motorcyclist and seriously injuring two others while driving drunk in his police cruiser. A brief filed by public defenders Wednesday claims the jud

    July 24, 2014

  • Ex-Indiana officer pleads guilty in $150K theft FRANKFORT (AP) — A former central Indiana police officer has pleaded guilty to charges that he stole nearly $150,000 from a company for which he transported cash. Former Frankfort police Lt. Randy Emery avoided jail time as a judge sentenced him to t

    July 24, 2014

  • Court rules prison agency mistreated former Pendleton counselor INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A federal appeals court has ruled that Indiana's prison agency mistreated a female employee when it shrugged off her complaints about workers having sex on her desk and later fired her for having an affair with an official. The ap

    July 23, 2014

  • Complaint ends teacher prayer in western Indiana school district TERRE HAUTE (AP) — A western Indiana school district is telling teachers and other employees they can't lead prayers during school-sponsored event. The decision by the Vigo County School Corp. in Terre Haute follows a complaint made to the Freedom fr

    July 23, 2014

  • Lawmakers approve pair of new license plates INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A panel of state lawmakers approved new license plates recognizing the Indy 500 and Abraham Lincoln under a new system clamping down on the number of special license plates on the road. Members of the Legislature's transportation

    July 23, 2014

  • Indiana Veterans Hall of Fame seeks nominations INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A new hall of fame for Indiana military veterans is seeking nominations for its first class of inductees. The Indiana Military Veterans Hall of Fame says it expects to induct the first honorees around Veterans Day at Fort Benjamin

    July 23, 2014

  • Gay couples' lawyers object to full-court hearing INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Attorneys on either side of a lawsuit over Indiana’s overthrown gay marriage ban are wrangling over how many federal judges should hear the state’s appeal, a technical issue that could make a big difference.Those representing gay

    July 23, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

The Pence administration continues to cut Indiana agency budgets despite a state surplus of $2 billion. Is this wise management of state funds?

Yes
No
Not sure
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 U.N. School in Gaza Hit by Israeli Strike Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Officials Warn of Avoidable Death in Hot Cars Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' House Committee at Odds Over Obama Lawsuit Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: UN School Used As Shelter Hit by Tank Shell Raw: Gunmen Attack Iraqi Prison Convoy Plane Leaves Ukraine With More Crash Victims The Rock Brings Star Power to Premiere Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.