(Indianapolis, Ind.) – More Hoosier students are finishing high school by turning the tassel rather than dropping out.
The Indiana Department of Education said Monday the state public school graduation rate improved 2.6 percent in 2010 to 84.1 percent.
Across the state, 133 public schools reached State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett’s 90 percent goal.
“These schools know a high school diploma is one key to success for Indiana students. We must continue to set high expectations for students and encourage them to work hard toward achieving excellence,” Bennett said. “I am proud of our parents, educators and administrators who clearly are challenging our students in the classroom to give their very best academically.”
Of the more than 16 percent of senior students who did not graduate, 6.4 percent were reported as either dropouts or undetermined. Another 7.3 percent remain in school an extra year.
“Each student who fails to graduate enters the adult world unprepared for the challenges of our modern economy,” Bennett said. “It’s extremely important to communicate the value of high school graduation beginning in the early grades and throughout a student’s education.”
Southeast Indiana’s best public school graduation rate again went to Batesville High School, where 97.2 percent of senior class members received a diploma. Almost as impressive as the graduation rate was the improvement over 2009’s rate of 92.9 percent.
The only local school better than Batesville was nearby private Oldenburg Academy where 97.4 percent of students earned graduation in 2010, 37 out of 38 students.
The region’s lowest graduation rate was found at Jac-Cen-Del Junior-Senior High School. Fifty out of 71 senior students, or 70.4 percent, graduated in 2010. The rate represents a decline from 73.6 percent in 2009.
Milan High School enjoyed one of the state’s largest jumps in graduation going from 74 percent in 2009 to 84.3 percent in 2010. The school fell six students shy of reaching the education department’s 90 percent benchmark.
Rising Sun High School experienced the area’s sharpest drop in graduation from a year ago, falling 9.2 percent to 84.6 percent in 2010. The school needed four more graduates to hit 90 percent.
East Central High School fell just short of 90 percent graduation at 89.7 percent, up 2.4 percent from 2009. Just one more graduate in 2010 would have put the school over.
South Dearborn’s grad rate improved 0.7 percent to 86.1, or nine graduates shy of 90 percent of the senior class.
Lawrenceburg High School saw the graduation percentage fall from 87 percent in 2009 to 85.4 in 2010, or six short.
Franklin County High School in Brookville saw graduation decline slightly in 2010 to 78 percent.
Also declining was Switzerland County High School’s graduation rate which was 83 percent last year but 76.9 percent in 2010.