January 4, 2019

IPS Graduation Rate Stays Steady

Indianapolis Public Schools outgoing superintendent Lewis Ferebee made graduation rates a focus of his tenure. - Eric Weddle/WFYI News

Indianapolis Public Schools outgoing superintendent Lewis Ferebee made graduation rates a focus of his tenure.

Eric Weddle/WFYI News

Updated Friday, Jan. 4 at 4:25 p.m.

The Indiana Department of Education recalculated the Indianapolis Public Schools graduation rate to include Herron High School on Friday. This brings the district's 2018 graduation rate to 82 percent, which is nearly equivalent to IPS' 2017 graduation rate.  

IDOE data first released Wednesday showed a slight drop in the IPS graduation rate, down three percentage points from the year before.

However, with the inclusion of Herron High School, the district maintains yearly improvements in its graduation rate. Herron, a well-performing charter school on the city's north side, joined the district in 2017. This relationship allows Herron to receive services from the district, and for school's performance scores to be included in the state's assessment of the district. 

In 2006, just 47 percent of IPS students graduated from high school.

When now-outgoing Superintendent Lewis Ferebee was hired in 2013, he steadily increased the graduation rate, and also lowered the number of students that graduated with a waiver –– when a student did not pass their final tests but met other requirements in order to graduate. A waiver likely prevents a student from attending most four-year colleges.

In the several years before Ferebee was hired, more than 20 percent of IPS students graduated with a waiver. In 2013-14, this percentage dropped to 6.9 percent. 

In 2018, the rate of students graduating with a waiver was 14 percent, about 4 points lower than last year. 

The statewide graduation rate was 88 percent for 2018.

The IDOE also released 2018 federal graduation rates because of differences between federal and state equations and standards. 

This story was updated to include a new calculation from the IDOE. 

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