The great state of Indiana is known for many great things, from being the birthplace of Colonel Sanders to the home of the Indianapolis 500. The Hoosier State is also famous for its educational institutions. However, even in a state like Indiana, there are going to be some schools that can use some improvement. Today, we’re going to talk about the worst schools in Indiana and what parents and students should know in advance.
The worst schools in Indiana are determined by a number of factors. The grade schools and elementary schools are judged by test scores, equity, and student progress. High schools are judged by the same factors plus how well they prepare students for college or life after graduation. Finally, we’ll look at the worst colleges in the state and look at several factors, including graduation rate. All of these factors should be considered before choosing a school for your children.
Worst Schools in Indiana: Elementary Schools
It’s essential that you find a good elementary school for your kids because this is one of the first steps to what should be a successful education. Elementary school sets the kids up for all of the grades that follow, so they need to learn the basics and learn them well. Unfortunately, these elementary schools miss the mark.
Concord South Side Elementary School
Our first school is part of the Concord Community Schools District, and it has 411 students. Concord South Side Elementary gets low marks due to test scores and some equity issues. The kids here are doing okay in some subjects, but even in the best cases, the proficiency level is below other schools in the state. Reading scores are somewhat decent but it goes downhill when you look at English, science, and math.
These scores show that the students here are likely not performing at grade level. The problem is that if they don’t get the basics now, they’ll fall behind when they move on to other grades.
As far as equity, GreatSchools.org finds that many underserved and low-income students are falling behind, which indicates achievement gaps. There are also some issues for students with disabilities. Those with disabilities are suspended and chronically absent more than students who aren’t considered disabled. That may mean that they aren’t getting the support that they need at school. Any suspension is bad because it means that the students are not at school learning. The good news is that the school is fairly diverse.
Snacks Crossing Elementary School
This school, which is within the MSD Pike Township, has 578 students. Many of them are not doing as well as they could due to issues with equity and test scores. The numbers here suggest that the students in this school are falling far behind the state average in many different basic subjects, including English, math, science, social studies, and reading. While there’s a 54% proficiency in reading, proficiency in the rest of the subjects is 10% or below.
There are also figures that suggest that low-income and underserved students are falling behind other students in the state, which points to potential achievement gaps. According to GreatSchools.org, the low-income students at this school are doing worse in subjects like English, math, and reading than the state average for low-income students. Also, at this school, students with disabilities are suspended more and are chronically absent more than students without disabilities.
On the teaching front, there’s some room for improvement. There’s currently a student-to-teacher ratio of 16:1, which means that the students could be getting more personalized attention than they are now. There’s also one counselor per every 598 students. On the good side, 97% of the teachers are certified, and 89% of the teachers have three years of experience or more.
Garden City Elementary School
Another part of the MSD Pike Township, Garden City Elementary School also has issues when it comes to test scores, equity, and various other topics. There are big issues with testing here. Once again, the problem subjects are English, math, science, and social studies. They all have proficiency levels that are 11% or below. The best subject is reading, which has a 48% proficiency level, but that is still well below the state average of 82%.
The numbers also indicate that underserved and low-income students may be falling behind other students in the state. Another equity issue is that there are differences in test scores for different races, which indicates that some students are not getting the support they need. Also, test scores in English, math, and science for low-income students are falling behind the state average for low-income kids. Also, there are also issues with suspension rates and chronic absence rates. In both cases, students with disabilities are doing worse than students without disabilities.
As for the teachers, there’s a student-to-teacher ratio of 15:1, which is about average. Of the teachers, 100% are certified, and 90% of them have three years of experience or more.
Worst Schools in Indiana: Middle School
Middle school is another important stepping stone in a child’s education, so it’s vital that your children find the right fit. The students need to continue to learn the important subjects and pass their tests so they can move onto the next grade with confidence. The schools below need some help in this area.
Gary Middle School
Our first middle school, out of the Gary Community School Corp, has many of the same issues as the elementary schools. Namely, with test scores and equity. Students here are falling well below the state average, and the proficiency is low in classes like English and Science. In Math, the proficiency is below 1%, per GreatSchools.org.
As far as diversity and equity, there’s some room for improvement. Not all races are doing as well as one another, so they may not be getting the support they need. This school also has issues with low-income students earning low test scores in English, math, and science.
Westlane Middle School
This school is within the MSD Washington Township, and it has 890 students, at the time of this writing. Test scores and equity are in the spotlight here. While there are worse test scores in other schools, there are low proficiency levels here in math, English, science, and biology. Although not a requirement at this point, there is a general lack of participation in advanced courses, like Algebra 1. Although there’s a 98% pass rate, there’s only a 16% participation rate, which could be improved.
For equity, the numbers indicate that low-income and underserved students may be falling behind other students in the school and the state. It’s an indication of an achievement gap. The good news is that the school is fairly diverse. However, this school also has the issue where students with disabilities are being suspended more often than children without disabilities, so that means they have less time in class and they may learn less.
The good news is that 100% of the teachers are certified, and 88% of them have three years of experience or more. However, there’s a fairly high student-to-teacher ratio of 18:1, which means the students aren’t getting the personalized attention they need. Also, for every counselor, there’s 461 students, which is a little high.
Creston Middle School
Also located in MSD Washington Township, the smaller school of Creston Middle School has fewer students but similar issues. The test scores here are also low, with students struggling in math, English, science, and social studies. These scores indicate that the students here are falling below other schools in the state. Low-income and underserved students may be falling behind others in the state with their test scores, which means they need more support.
Test scores for different races are also taking a hit. Black and hispanic students are generally getting lower scores than the white students. Also, black students are suspended more often than white students. However, the white students are chronically absent more often. Students with disabilities are also receiving suspensions more often than students without disabilities.
The teaching could also use some impairment. While there’s a fairly average student-to-teacher ratio of 15:1, there’s a huge student-to-counselor ratio of 604:1. Also, while 100% of the teachers are certified, only 79% of them have three years of experience or more.
Worst Schools in Indiana: High Schools
After your kids have an educational foundation, it’s essential that they find a good high school. For students who don't intend to attend college, this may be the final round of schooling they'll receive, so they need to have quality classes. If they do plan to go to college, they’ll need a high school that will prepare them for the next level of education. Unfortunately, the schools below need improvement on both fronts.
New Haven High School
This school, which is part of the East Allen County Schools system, has some issues with test scores, equity, and college readiness. According to data from GreatSchools.org, this high school is far below the state average when it comes to career and college readiness. Currently, there are low proficiency scores in courses like biology, math, and English that are well below the state average. There are also very low participation rates in advanced courses like AP math and science.
On the equity front, it’s possible that underserved and low-income students may be falling behind other students in the state. They’re less prepared for college than all other students. There are also issues for students with disabilities. They’re suspended more than students that don’t have disabilities, and they’re doing poorly on testing, which means they may not be getting the support they need.
This school currently has an 81% four-year graduation rate. However, if the students are not performing well in their classes, they won’t have the tools to succeed. Currently, only 21% of students are pursuing college. Of those students, 55% are taking the SAT test, and 13% are taking the ACT test, both of which are requirements to attend most colleges. The average SAT score is 963, which falls below the average that most schools look for when accepting applicants.
Finally, on the teaching front, there’s a 18:1 student-to-teacher ratio and a 363:1 counselor-to-student ratio. That means the students aren’t getting the personalized attention they may need. While 100% of the teachers are certified, only 82% have three years of experience or more.
Whitko High School
Whitko High School is within the Whitco Community School Corp, and it’s a medium-sized school with 653 students that has grades 7-12. It’s a school that has its ups and downs. It ranks about the same as other schools when it comes to career and college readiness. Currently, there’s an 88% four-year graduation rate, which is above the state average of 85%. There’s also a fairly decent SAT test participation rate at 49%. Many students also take the ACT test. The average score on the SAT is 1087, and the average score on the ACT is 24, both of which are fairly decent. With all that said, only 14% of students intend to attend college or a vocational program.
The issue is that while kids are graduating, they're not graduating with good test scores. Currently, students are falling below the state average when it comes to courses like English, math, and science. Also, there’s a fairly low percentage of kids taking advanced courses, like AP math and science. So, they have some work to do.
There are also some issues with equity, as low-income and underserved students may be falling behind other students in the state, which indicates large achievement gaps. Also, there’s an issue with students with disabilities being suspended more than kids that don’t report a disability. The high school is also not very diverse overall.
North Central High School
Finally, we have North Central High, which is part of the Northeast School Corp. It’s a smaller school with about 269 students, and it serves grades 7-12.
Unlike the last school, this high school is performing below the state average for career and college readiness. There is a 90% graduation rate, but students aren’t getting the correct schooling to prepare them for life after they leave here. There’s a 63% participation rate for the SAT test but a 7% participation rate for the ACT test. The average ACT score is 21, which is decent. However, the average SAT score is 986, which is below average. On the bright side, 51% of students plan to attend college or a vocational school, and that’s higher than some of the others on this list.
However, while they’re in high school, their test scores are falling well below the state average. Test scores in English, math, and biology are all below the state average. Also, there’s very few students taking advanced courses, like Algebra 1 and AP math and science.
Worst Colleges in Indiana
One of the best ways to measure the quality of a college is to go by the graduation rate. There are many reasons why a student might not graduate from a school. They may not get the support they need, they may think it’s too expensive, or they may want to try a different college instead, among many reasons. Here are some of the worst colleges by graduation rate:
- University of Phoenix Indianapolis Campus – (Graduation rate: 6.3%)
- Martin University – (Graduation rate: 8.3%)
- Ivy Tech Community College Central Indiana – (Graduation rate: 9.5%)
- College of Court Reporting Inc – (Graduation rate: 13.8%)
- Ancilla College – (Graduation rate: 17%)
- Vincennes University – (Graduation rate: 22.9%) – In addition to having a low graduation rate, this school is also known for having a poor return on investment. The average annual tuition is about $10,000, but the average salary for a graduate is about $32,000, which means it can take some time to pay back their student debt.
This has been the list of the worst schools in Indiana based on metrics that are important to students and parents in the state. Always make it a point to research a school before going forward and do what’s best for the youngster in your life.
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