Graduation rate changes may hurt high schools in Indiana

Changes to U.S. law may mean thousands of high school diplomas in Indiana won’t be counted toward national graduation rate reports.

The Indianapolis Star reports the Every Student Succeeds Act requires states to report graduation rates in a uniform manner. The act sets rules for how states hold schools accountable and measure their progress.

The rule change means the General Diploma, one of the three diplomas offered in Indiana, won’t be counted in federal reports. The diploma doesn’t qualify students for college, but more than 8,600 students earned one in 2016.

Warsaw Community Schools Superintendent Dr. David Hoffert tells News Now Warsaw this will impact the numbers for every school in Indiana.

“Warsaw, while not as much as many other surrounding and statewide, would still be impacted,” he explains.

The change in the federal reporting standard means lower graduation rates, which can affect high schools’ state letter grades. Poor grades can lead to state intervention at public schools or non-renewal for charter schools.

Dr. Hoffert says clarification is being sought by the state on this classification and what the timeline would look like for all schools in Indiana.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.