(The following article is re-printed with permission of Times-Mail )

Orleans continues to earn honors

January 12, 2011

Orleans High School’s high graduation rate has earned it another honor.

It ranked No. 4 in the state for non-waiver graduation rates.

Last month the Indiana Department of Education released its raw graduation rates for the 2010 cohort (students who entered ninth grade in 2006). The state’s goal is a 90 percent graduation rate. The state 2010 average was 84.1. And Orleans’ rate was 98.6 percent

This week, the department released the best non-waiver graduation rates. That’s a different measurement of the same group. It excludes those who received diplomas with waivers and have not met the basic expectation that each student pass the graduation exam and earn a Core 40 diploma.

Orleans’ rate remained 98.6. Only three other public high schools — Barr-Reeve Junior-Senior High School (100 percent), Signature School (100 percent) and the Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics and Humanities (99.2 percent) — had higher non-waiver graduation rates.

The state average was 78.1 percent.


Non-waiver graduation

According to the DOE, a student can receive a graduation waiver in one of three ways:

By completing Core 40 coursework.

By demonstrating to the satisfaction of the high school that he/she has met the achievement standard measured by the graduation exam through other means.

By completing an internship and a workforce readiness assessment.

A total of 4,443 students from the class of 2010 received a waiver to graduate at one of Indiana’s public high schools, compared to 4,421 for last year’s graduating class.

The graduation waiver was created to protect students who didn’t “test well” in high school, according to a DOE report. While many students earn worthwhile diplomas via waiver, the IDOE worries some schools may be taking advantage of loopholes in the system that may allow schools to loosely grant waivers and allow schools to achieve more favorable graduation results.

The rates

Non-waiver graduation rates for some area high schools:

BNL: 82.9 percent

Mitchell: 74.4 percent

Bloomington North: 73.4

Bloomington South: 78.8

Bloomfield: 96.1

Brownstown: 83.7

Eastern Greene: 72.3

Edgewood: 89.6

Loogootee: 81.3

Medora: 65.0

Paoli: 84.8

Salem: 84.1

Seymour: 82.9

Shoals: 70.6

Springs Valley: 74.2

West Washington: 85.9

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