INDIANAPOLIS | Almost every high school in Lake and Porter counties improved its graduation rate for 2014, in line with schools across Indiana.
The Indiana Department of Education released graduation rates for 2013-14 showing a jump to 89.8 percent overall, up from 88.6 percent the year before. Indiana’s nonwaiver graduation rate also saw an increase, at 83.4 percent, up from 81.7 percent the previous year.
The waiver rate refers to the number of students who were excused even though they did not pass the mandatory “end-of-course assessments." Students who are granted waivers must have at least a C average and a 95 percent attendance rate. They must complete the Core 40 diploma curriculum, utilize any remedial opportunities available and must obtain clearance from teachers in math and English, which are the two areas covered on the end-of-course assessment.
Theresa Mayerik, the School City of Hammond's chief administrator of academic affairs, said every high school in Hammond improved and attributed it to the PLATO online credit-recovery program, instituted at each high school.
Hammond High's graduation rate was 86.6 percent, up from 78.5 percent in 2013. There were 149 of 172 seniors who graduated in 2014. Hammond Morton High jumped to 79.6 percent from 61.4 percent, with 230 of 289 students graduating.
"The Class of 2014 started high school when Hammond High School received the 1003g School Improvement Grant," she said.
"They were the only group of students to attend ... for four years under the grant. Under that grant, we were able to put in a number of interventions to help students be successful. One of those interventions was the use of the PLATO program. Last year, Hammond High School had a PLATO lab scheduled each period of the day. Students who failed classes could be scheduled into this lab to do credit recovery online."
Gary West Side jumped to 92 percent from 69 percent in 2014. Gary Wirt-Emerson climbed to 100 percent graduation rate in 2014, from 95.2 percent, with all 73 seniors graduating.
EdisonLearning Roosevelt grads showed a slight decline. In 2013, 41.3 percent of students graduated, compared with 38.8 percent in 2014. Of 170 seniors, 66 graduated in 2014. Roosevelt College and Career Academy is operated by Tennessee-based management company EdisonLearning Inc. The state appointed the private management company to operate the high school after several consecutive years of failure under the Gary Community School Corp. EdisonLearning Roosevelt also has earned an F from the state.
Munster High went up to 97.2 percent in 2014 from 96.7 percent. Crown Point High rose to 97 percent in 2014 from 96.2 percent in 2013. Similarly, Porter County schools also did well. Chesterton High jumped to 96.8 percent in 2014 from 92.8 percent, with 478 of 494 students graduating. Hebron High remained the same with 98.7 percent graduation rate for two consecutive years.
Indiana education leader Glenda Ritz said of teachers and parents, "Because of their efforts and the outreach efforts of the Department of Education, more children are graduating from high school and preparing themselves for college and career. Today’s news is yet another sign of the great work happening every day in schools throughout Indiana.”