County schools fall short of statewide graduation rate

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

As 2013 graduation season gets into full swing, the Indiana Department of Education recently released graduation rate information for the 2011-2012 school year.

While the state shows an upward trend of graduation rates in the last six years, the results are mixed in Putnam County schools, with each of the four local high schools falling short of the state's graduation rate.

The statewide graduation rate for four-year cohorts (students who began as freshmen in the 2008-2009 school year) was 88.4 percent. This compares favorably to the national rate of 87 percent.

Additionally, the state continues a trend of increasing its graduation rate each year since 2006-2007, when the rate was 77.7 percent. The 2010-2011 rate was 86.8 percent, meaning the most recent year was up 1.6 percent.

Locally, the most positive trend was for Cloverdale High School, whose 74 graduates constituted an 80.4 percent graduation rate, which was easily the highest reported since 2006-2007. Previously, CHS had not had a rate higher than 75 percent.

The highest rate reported in the county was for North Putnam, whose 115 graduates meant an 86.5 percent rate. This number was down, however, from the 2010-2011 rate of 88.2 percent and the school's lowest since 2007-2008.

South Putnam reported an 83.2 percent graduation rate with its 79 graduates. This was down from the impressive 94.4 percent graduation rate from 2010-2011 and the lowest by the school in the six years included on the IDOE report.

The Greencastle High School graduating class of 116 students made up an 80 percent graduation rate, down from 86.4 percent the previous year. GHS had reported a higher graduation rate each year since 2007-2008.

While dropouts do not constitute the entire remainder of the students, they generally make up the largest group of non-graduates. With a statewide dropout rate of 5.8 percent, only North Putnam came in under the mark with a 5.3 percent rate. Cloverdale reported a dropout rate of 7.6 percent and South Putnam 8.4 percent.

Greencastle reported a 14.5 percent rate, with 21 dropouts from the class of 2012.

Other non-graduates include those who simply completed their courses, special education certificate recipients, GED students and those still in school.

The news was better for Putnam County schools on the types of diplomas graduates received. Three of four local schools had students graduating with one of two kinds of college preparatory diplomas at a higher rate than the state. These diplomas are either Core 40 or academic honors.

At Greencastle High School, 86.2 percent of graduates earned one of the two diplomas, compared to 81.9 percent statewide.

Likewise, North Putnam (84.3 percent) and Cloverdale (83.8 percent) were above the state average of college prep students.

While South Putnam's rate of 74.7 percent fell below the state average, the school did report an impressive 36.7 receiving academic honors diplomas, easily the highest in the county.

Information on the class of 2013 will not be included until late in the 2013-2014 school year.

This information and other school and corporation reports are available at

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  • It is unfair for public schools to not get credit for all students graduating with a diploma. As long as they are being punished for students graduating early or for students who take longer the percent will not change. What's the real goal?

    I believe it's a DIPOLMA!!!

    -- Posted by kiwi123 on Wed, May 29, 2013, at 2:06 PM
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