A recent report from the American Enterprise Institute says Indiana’s rate of high school credit recovery use is one of the highest in the nation, and that Indiana’s percentage of individual schools with high-participation rates is nearly double the national average.
In order to graduate, high schoolers have to make up credits for classes they’ve failed, which is known as credit recovery. The percentage of students doing that in Indiana is slightly higher than most states, at about 9 percent, and at least 15 percent of Hoosier high schools say a significant number of their students – about one fifth or more – have participated in some sort of credit recovery.
American Enterprise Institute education scholar and report author Nat Malkus says Indiana’s high participation schools see some noticeable trends.
“Minority participation is much higher, reading and math proficiency are lower,” he says.
Malkus calculated rates for all 50 states based on federal civil rights data from 2015, as part of a report highlighting the importance of high quality makeup coursework. According to his calculations, high participation schools in Indiana serve more than a third of all students who participate in credit recovery.
Malkus says ensuring good quality credit recovery is vital to prevent a possible two-track system for students.
“If we’re watering down the kinds of tasks we’re asking kids to do by giving them an easy end route, around our typical expectations, then we’re not really doing anybody favors,” he says.
Data for local districts and schools can be found in the U.S. Department of Education's Civil Rights Data Collection.