Indiana’s and St. Joseph County’s high school graduation rate sees a slight drop

Indiana’s high school graduation rate for 2022 dipped slightly and most demographics’ rates remained stagnant, but fewer Indiana students needed a waiver to graduate compared to last year.

The Indiana Department of Education released its 2022 high school graduation rates Friday, which showed this year’s state rate dipping slightly to 86.61% compared to last year’s rate of 86.69%.

Rates in several of St. Joseph County’s largest high schools reflected statewide trends with slightly lower state graduation rates. However, others showed steady rates or even slight increases.

The new statewide graduation rates show that students are still trying to recover from the academic disruptions brought on by the pandemic and have not bounced back to pre-pandemic levels of 87.29% in 2019.

Friday’s release also comes at a time when state lawmakers have said reinventing high school is one of their priorities for the 2023 legislative session, something Indiana Secretary of Education Katie Jenner also echoed in a press release Friday.

“As we seek new and innovative ways to ensure students are best prepared for their future, we must continue to rethink how those four years are structured,” Jenner said.

The rate for non-waiver graduation — the number of students who complete all their diploma requirements, without needing a waiver — also improved from 78.78% last year to 80.58% in 2022. Waivers are used in a variety of circumstances when the student is disabled to complete graduation requirements because of things like transferring their senior year, or when a student who can’t meet the requirements has lined up post-high school employment, such as joining the military.

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State graduation rates for Black, Hispanic, English Learners, special education students and students who qualify for free and reduced lunch all increased slightly from last year.

  • Black students: 77.05% in 2021 to 77.52% in 2022

  • Hispanic students: 82.66% in 2021 to 83.86% in 2022

  • White students: 89.04% in 2021 to 88.75% in 2022

  • Asian students: 93.70% in 2021 to 92.06% in 2022

  • Multiracial students: 82.53% in 2021 to 82.71% in 2022

  • American Indian students: 77.01% in 2021 to 84.28% in 2022

  • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander students: 86.36% in 2021 to 83.10% in 2022

  • English Learners: 82.80% in 2021 to 85.60% in 2022

  • Special education students: 74.52% in 2021 to 76.39% in 2022

  • Students receiving free and reduced-price meals: 82.84% in 2021 to 83.74% in 2022

The state also released Indiana’s federal graduate rate on Friday, which also showed a slight dip from last year at 85.75% to 85.12% in 2022. The federal graduation rate is calculated differently due to differences between state and federal accountability equations and standards.

St. Joseph County rates

The South Bend Community School Corporation as a whole reported a rate of 75.32% in 2022, up from 72.85% a year earlier. Its Adams and Clay High Schools reported small decreases while Washington saw a significant increase and Riley’s rate remained unchanged.

Rates for Purdue Polytechnic High School, which opened in 2020 and is phasing in upperclassmen students, were suppressed from the state education department’s public reports.

  • South Bend Adams: 90.18% in 2021 to 88.62% in 2022

  • South Bend Clay: 69.78% in 2021 to 66% in 2022

  • South Bend Riley: 83.62% in 2021 to 83.63% in 2022

  • South Bend Washington: 61.25% in 2021 to 74.63% in 2022

  • John Glenn High School: 95.03% in 2021 to 100% in 2022

  • Penn High School: 97.32% in 2021 to 96.39% in 2022

  • Mishawaka: 81.74% in 2021 to 78.86% in 2022

  • LaVille Junior-Senior High School: 77.38% in 2021 to 88.17% in 2022

  • Career Academy High School: 88.68% in 2021 to 94.19% in 2022

  • Marian High School: 98.58% in 2021 to 99.33% in 2022

  • Saint Joseph High School: 99.51% in 2021 to 98.51% in 2022

South Bend Tribune reporter Carley Lanich contributed to this story. Contact her at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter at @carleylanich.

Rachel Fradette is a general assignment reporter at IndyStar. Contact her at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter at @Rachel_Fradette. Contact IndyStar reporter Caroline Beck at 317-618-5807 or [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter: @CarolineB_Indy.

Caroline is also a Report for America corps member with the GroundTruth Project, an independent, nonpartisan, non-profit news organization dedicated to supporting the next generation of journalists in the US and around the world.

This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: Indiana’s high school graduation rate drops slightly