Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Indiana Has Highest Dropout Rate In The Nation

It's a distinction that will do little to change perceptions of Indiana among the country's thinking people. According to a study by the Annie Casey Foundation, thirteen percent of Hoosiers between the ages of 16 and 19 are high school dropouts, ranking Indiana 50th out of 50 states. Kelly Suderland of the Ft. Wayne Journal-Gazette reports that Indiana calculates its own dropout rate in a manner than produces a lower dropout rate:

The inverse of the dropout rate is the graduation rate and under a new way of calculating the latter, Indiana is faring worse than officials first feared. Indiana recently recognized that its reported graduation rates are not reflective of the number of students who are actually graduating high school.

Under the current system of counting the number of students who enter high school as freshman and comparing that with the number who graduate, Indiana reported a 90 percent graduation rate. A new formula will track individual students as they enter and exit high school, possibly providing a more accurate statistic, if not a lower one.

So what's the reaction from the Indiana Department of Education? They're not concerned. “Indiana has a dropout problem, but every state in the nation has a dropout problem,” Jason Bearce said. “It’s been with us since the beginning.” That's really encouraging.


jc indyin said...

You know, I'm tired of hearing we have a hgih drop out problem. My question is what the heck are we going to do aboout it?

Kevin said...

The problem is that we live in a farming/manufacturing state where more emphasis is placed on blue collar work than education.

Was I the only one NOT excited about the Honda factory coming to Indiana? What incentive is it for a kid to finish school when he can go work in a factory making up to $20 an hour. At least that is the mentality of so many small town residents.

The state can make dropping out harder, but it wtill won't be a deterrant. Kids have to value an education and that value has to be instilled in them by their parents and peers, and that doesn't happen in many areas of the state.