ST. JOSEPH COUNTY -- Indiana's Department of Education says more students are graduating from High School. The state public school graduation rate improved to 84.1 percent in the 2009-2010 school year -- that is up 2.6 percentage points over last year.
Two years ago state superintendent Tony Bennett set a 90 percent graduation rate goal and at 84.1percent statewide this year, there is still work to be done.
After falling way behind in school, Slade Fry was on track to being a 5th year high school student. Not anymore.
"I am ready to graduate. I feel good that I can graduate this year with everybody else who I went to school with for four years," says Fry.
Fry says he has his school to thank for that. He goes to John Glenn High School in Walkerton.
"John Glenn has reached a 92.6 graduation rate," says High School Principal William Morton.
The state just released Indiana's Graduation Rates for 2010.
John Glenn High School Graduation Rates:
John Glenn is one of many schools where the percentage of graduates increased this year. Morton, says it is a result of a lot of hard work. Every struggling student is mentored, the school offers summer school and a credit recovery program.
"Teachers are no longer independent contractors, everything is changing. The world has changed, we have changed and we are trying to do a better job of looking at every person individually," says Morton.
The graduation rate at Penn High School went up about two percentage points this year.
Penn High School Graduation Rates:
Mishawaka's graduation rate went up this year too. And, over the past two years, it's jumped nearly 20 percent.
Mishawaka High School Graduation Rates:
Dan Towner, interim superintendent for School City of Mishawaka said it would be difficult to pinpoint an exact reason. He said it could be a combination of better bookkeeping as well as effort by students, teachers and parents.
"I think the bench mark is with ourselves and School City Mishawaka is moving and making good progress in regard to that. And at this point I believe we are on track," says Towner.
There is mixed news in South Bend where the numbers at Clay and Washington High School's went up, but the graduation rate at Adams and Riley dropped in 2010. But at Bendix High School, now called South Bend Alternative High School, the graduation has increased 16 percent.
South Bend Community School Corp. Graduation Rates
Clay High School
Adams High School
Riley High School
Washington High School
Both Elkhart High Schools and Goshen High School saw graduation numbers go up as well. To view graduation rates for Elkhart, Goshen and all schools in the state click on the link.
A spokesperson at the Indiana Department of Education said that there isn't one reason for the statewide increase except perhaps increased accountability and expectations.