GOOD EDUCATION NEWS! Black On Time High School Graduation Rates Rises In Indiana, Indy And Suburbs

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88449594Nearly a decade ago, a series of editorials in the Indianapolis Star declared that Indianapolis had one of the worst graduation rates of any major American city. Now, in 2013 those days are over with; especially for African-American students. Data released by the Indiana Department of Education shows continued gains for African-Americans graduating from high school – on time – in four years. For the Class of 2013 statewide, 77.0% of African-American students in Indiana’s public high schools graduated on time. That’s up from 74.0% last year. And a sharp improvement of the 59.8% who graduated on time six years ago (2008). The overall graduation rate for the Class of 2013 in Indiana’s public high schools was 88.3%, up from 86.8% in 2012; 85.7% in 2011; 84.1% in 2010, 81.6% in 2009 and 77.8% in 2008. In Indianapolis/Marion County school districts, Black graduation rates noticeably improved. Especially in the Indianapolis Public Schools. Seven out of ten Black students (70.3%) in the Class of 2013 in IPS graduated on time last year. A record! Especially considering that six years ago, barely half of Black students graduated on time (50.0% in 2008 and 49.3% in 2009). Last year IPS’ Black graduation rate was 62.2%. One anomaly about graduation rates in IPS. The district’s overall graduation rate was 68.3%. But the racial/ethnic group with the lowest graduation rate was non-Hispanic whites. Just 56.5% of whites in the Class of 2013 in IPS graduated on time. Again this year, the state’s graduation rate data was released two months later than last year; again quietly, without fanfare, by the Indiana Department of Education.
AM 1310 The Light analyzed African-American graduation rates in school districts and charters in the Indianapolis Metropolitan Area as reported by the Indiana Department of Education. Graduation rate data for schools and districts with less than ten African-American students in the Class of 2013 weren’t reported. Of the eleven public school districts in Indianapolis/Marion County, 81.4% of African-Americans graduated on time in the Class of 2013.
Of suburban Indianapolis school districts, 88.8% of African-Americans graduated on time. Of charter schools in the city/county, including the takeover schools supervised by the Indianapolis Mayor’s Office, the Black graduation rate was 47.9%. When charter virtual schools and the Excel Center charter school, both of which specialize in hard to serve students are excluded, then the Black graduation rate of Indianapolis’ charter and takeover schools increases to 69.8%.
AM1310 The Light also analyzed twenty-three districts and key charters. African-American graduation rates rose in thirteen of those districts or charters, and declined in ten districts or charters. In the major Indianapolis/Marion County school districts, Pike had the highest Black graduation rate (92.3%) followed by Wayne Township (87.1%) and Lawrence Township (86.3%). The major surprise was the under performance in Black graduation rates in Washington Township with just 75.5% of their Black seniors graduating on time last year. That ranked Washington Township as the second lowest Black graduation rate of any city/county district, just ahead of IPS at 70.3%. African-American students in three area high schools had perfect graduation rates; Westfield-Washington High School in Hamilton County; IPS’ Crispus Attucks Medical Magnet and Ben Davis University in Wayne Township. Rounding out the top ten Black graduation rates for area high schools were: Shortridge 97.2%; Brownsburg 96.3%; Avon 96.0%; Broad Ripple 95.8%; Speedway 93.8%; Charles Tindley 93.1%; Noblesville 92.9%. The next ten high schools with strong Black graduation rates were: Herron High 92.7%; Pike 92.3%; Mt. Vernon 90.0%; Southport 89.5%; Carmel 88.9%; Lawrence Central 86.9%; Fall Creek Academy 86.7%; Ben Davis 86.5%; Franklin Central 85.7% and Beech Grove 85.7%. Other High Schools with strong Black graduations rates were: Lawrence North 85.5%; Hamilton Southeastern 83.8%; Warren Central 83.3%; Irvington Charter 81.0%; Perry Meridian 79.1%; Fishers 78.0%; Decatur Central 78.4%; Indy Lighthouse Charter 76.9%; Plainfield 76.9%; North Central 75.5%; John Marshall 70.2%; Indianapolis Math & Science 70.0%. Other IPS high schools Black graduation rates were Arsenal Tech 63.0%; Northwest 61.6%; and George Washington 53.8%. The three IPS high schools taken over by the state two years and now monitored by the Mayor’s Charter Schools Office had Class of 2013 Black graduation rates much lower than for the Class of 2012.  Manual High School had a 2013 Black graduation rate of 64.3%, compared with 82.9% in 2012. Howe’s 2013 Black graduation rate was 64.9%, a slight increase from 2012’s 63.5%. Arlington 2013 Black graduation rate of 34.1% was the lowest of any Indianapolis area high school. In 2012 the school’s Black graduation rate was 55.5%. Graduation rates in Indiana are computed by tracking each individual student in a high school’s freshman class for four years. Students not included in the graduate rate are not all dropouts. They include students who receive a GED diploma, or a Certificate of Completion, or drop out.  Read the table comparing the percentage of Black students statewide and in key Indianapolis school districts and charters who graduated from high school within four years over the last five school years.

CLASS OF 2013 BLACK GRADUATION RATES
MAJOR INDIANAPOLIS AREA SCHOOL DISTRICTS
Table Compilation©2014 AM 1310 The Light.
SCHOOL CORPORATION/CHARTER                Class 2013 Class2012 Class 2011 Class 2010 Class 2009 Class 2008
STATEWIDE                                                                    77.0            74.0            75.2           72.2             65.9              59.5
MSD Decatur Township                                                78.9            58.7            79.5           78.4             83.3              58.7
MSD Franklin Township                                               85.7            91.2            87.2           74.3             52.9              69.2
MSD Lawrence Township                                             86.3            82.6           84.3           83.0             79.7              72.4
MSD Perry Township                                                     85.0           90.3           83.1            71.3             71.4               68.9
MSD Pike Township                                                       92.3           92.6           90.1            89.3             85.6              72.0
MSD Warren Township                                                 83.3           84.5           86.5           71.8              67.3               60.9
MSD Washington Township                                        75.5            81.4            77.4           83.4             79.1               75.8
MSD Wayne Township                                                  87.1            89.3            89.1          85.9             74.8               65.0
Indianapolis Public Schools                                         70.3           62.2             64.2          58.3             49.3               50.1
Hamilton Southeastern Schools                                  81.7           86.3             83.7          79.0             83.5               77.8
Avon Community Schools                                             96.0           87.7            93.0          87.8             90.9               69.4
Brownsburg Community Schools                                96.3           91.7             97.7          80.5             78.8               74.1
Carmel-Clay Schools                                                      88.9           94.9            88.9         86.2             80.0               N/A
Mt. Vernon Community Schools                                 90.0           90.5            92.9         88.5              71.4                N/A
Noblesville Schools                                                         92.9          86.7             89.5         80.0             N/A               N/A
Speedway Schools                                                           93.8           86.7            88.2       100.0             83.3               N/A
Westfield-Washington Schools                                  100.0           91.7            75.0          N/A             N/A                N/A
Zionsville Community Schools                                     N/A           81.8            90.9         N/A             N/A                N/A
Fall Creek Academy Charter                                         86.7           86.7            87.5          76.9             33.3                N/A
Charles Tindley Charter                                                 93.1           78.9            84.6         83.3             60.9                N/A
Indianapolis Metropolitan Charter                             60.7           72.0            41.9          56.5             71.4                N/A
Irvington Community Charter                                     81.0           80.0            46.7         60.0             N/A                N/A
Herron Charter                                                                92.7           85.3            91.6          85.4             N/A                N/A
Excel Center Charter                                                       15.9           11.4              0.0          N/A             N/A                N/A

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