County schools beat state average graduation rates

Zionsville topped the county’s graduation rate published recently by the Indiana Department of Education for 2019. Here Zionsville Community High School 2019 valedictorian Joseph Kurek takes the stage at graduation.

The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) recently released the 2019 state graduation rates, and Zionsville High School has the top rate in the county, with Lebanon and Western Boone high schools not far behind.

All three are well ahead of the state’s 2019 graduation rate of 87.29%. The 2018 rate was 88.1%.

“Every day, school administrators and classroom teachers across our state dedicate themselves to academically preparing our students for success,” State Superintendent Jennifer McCormick said. “There is still work to be done, and the department will continue to commit its resources to local districts, working together to ensure our children graduate prepared for life beyond high school.”

Zionsville High School has 2,065 students, compared to Lebanon’s 973 and Western Boone’s 784, according to IDOE figures.

Zionsville High School had 2,065 students and a graduation rate of 97.2%.

Western Boone had 784 students, compared to Lebanon’s 973, but Western Boone’s graduation rate was 3.5 percentage points higher at 96.9%, than Lebanon’s 93.4 percent.

The graduation rate is one indicator of a school’s performance, and a low graduation rate does not necessarily mean a school is not serving its students well, Adam Baker, IDOE press secretary, said.

But schools with high graduation rates indicate a school is preparing students well, he said, adding, “Schools all across the state are serving students well every day.”

The state identified 40.9% of Lebanon’s high schoolers as economically disadvantaged, while 33.2% of Western Boone high schoolers and only 5.6% of Zionsville high schoolers fell into the same category.

But Baker says it’s not fair to link economic factors to graduation rates.

“Schools are always overcoming challenges,” Baker said via email, “one being how to keep students ready for the school day and prepared to the best of their ability.

“And, yes this can be more difficult when you have a large student population coming to school concerned with having even the most basic of needs met. However, there are countless schools across the state overcoming this. And the more we can work to help revise resources and assistance, as a community, district, and state, the better.”

Zionsville had 63% of its 10th-graders test proficient for mathematics and 83% proficient at English/language arts, while Lebanon’s numbers were 40.6% for math and 56.2% for English, and Western Boone 10th-graders tested 31% proficient in math and 61.8% proficient in English.

Of the three school districts, only Zionsville gained students last year.

Due to differences between federal and state accountability calculations, the IDOE also released 2019 federal graduation rates. In 2019, Indiana’s federal graduation rate was 86.46 percent. Indiana’s federal graduation rate for 2018 was 87.23 percent.

To view a spreadsheet with statewide, corporation, and school-level data, visit the website at www.doe.in.gov/accountability/find-school-and-corporation-data-reports.

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