Indiana Graduation Rates Fall Amid Future Changes; See Local Rates

Posted On January 15, 2018

By Mike Perleberg

(Indianapolis, Ind.) – As Indiana lawmakers consider changes to the requirements for high school graduation, they are learning that the state’s graduation rate for the 2016-2017 school year was worse than the year before.

The statewide graduation rate fell from 89.1 percent in 2015-2016 to 87.2 percent last year, according to the Indiana Department of Education. It’s the largest drop in a single year in more than a decade.

Also, 80.1 percent of students graduated last year without a waiver from certain statewide exams, down from 82.4 percent in 2016.

“Our schools are committed to the academic success of our students,” said Dr. Jennifer McCormick, Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction. “We recognize there is still work to be done, and will continue to partner with local districts to ensure every student graduates prepared for life beyond high school.”

The education department broke down the rates by race and other demographics. White students had an 89 percent graduation rate, while 78 percent of black students and just 61 percent of students learning English as a new language earned a diploma.

The split among graduates on free and reduced lunch programs and those not was 83 percent to 94.5 percent.

Although the year-over-year progress declined, Indiana’s overall graduation rate continues to be about 10 percentage points higher than it was in 2006.

Locally, every area high school and school district continued to be above the statewide rate. South Ripley Community Schools had the best high school graduation rate in the area last year at 98.6 percent. The lowest rate in our listening area was South Dearborn Community Schools at 90.1 percent.

Last year, the Indiana State Board of Education adopted new diploma requirements starting for the class of 2023. They include completing a project, service, or work-based learning experience. Grads must also meet college and career-ready benchmarks such as achieving an honors diploma, completing an apprenticeship, or scoring well on an ACT or SAT exam.

State legislators may soon make more changes to Indiana’s diploma system in an effort to match new federal guidelines for calculating the grad rates.

Local Graduation Rates

Sunman-Dearborn 97.5% 95.1%
South Dearborn 90.1% 89.3%
Lawrenceburg 93.3% 97.3%
Franklin County 96.9% 91.8%
Rising Sun-Ohio Count 93.8% 90.5%
South Ripley 98.6% 94.9%
Batesville 94.1% 98.0%
Jac-Cen-Del 92.1% 89.8%
Milan 91.4% 95.5%
Switzerland County 95.4% 94.0%
   source: Indiana Department of Education