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Four charts that help explain Marion County schools

Alan Petersime

Each year, the Indiana Department of Education releases reams of data on schools across Indiana including how many students have enrolled and whether they need extra help. Readers can find a lot of information on each school on the state website. But we here at Chalkbeat decided to dig a little deeper and see what the information reveals about trends in Marion county.

Here are some of our favorite insights about Marion County:

State letter grades are a rough measure of school quality, but it is clear from the data that students who are poor enough to receive meal assistance are much more likely to attend schools that get low marks from the state than their higher-income peers. Nearly 30 percent of low-income students attend schools that are rated D or F by the state, compared to just 21 percent of higher-income students. The inverse phenomenon plays out at A-rated schools, where low-income students are much less likely to attend.

Over the last decade, the number of Hispanic students in Marion County has skyrocketed. This has made many Marion County schools more diverse, but it has also come with challenges. The state hasn’t released the latest data on the number of students who are learning English, but as Chalkbeat documented in a series last year, immigration is rapidly changing Indianapolis schools.

Between 2007 and 2017, enrollment in traditional district schools in Marion County held pretty steady, falling by about 1,000 students. But…

Enrollment in charter schools has exploded — charter schools now enroll more than three times as many students as they did 10 years ago. Charter schools have seen growth statewide, and the 100th charter school in the state was expected to open this fall.

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