Low graduation rate in South Bend a hot topic

By: Nick McGurk Email
By: Nick McGurk Email
The school board of the South Bend Community School Corporation spent the afternoon discussing the low graduation rate of its students. Later that evening, sixteen school board candidates made their pitches to the community about that and other issues.

Low Graduation rate cause big debate

For kids in South Bend, it's not getting to high school that's the problem--it's graduating.

"When we talk about graduation rates in South Bend, they're about 62 percent," said Marcia Hummel, a board member for the South Bend Community School Corporation.

The actual rate is about 11 percent higher, but that number includes students who spent longer than four years to graduate. Indiana doesn't calculate graduation rates over more than four years, Hummel said.

That low percentage dominated a school board meeting on Thursday afternoon. Later that evening, a forum held at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center in South Bend brought 16 school board candidates together to discuss the issues. One of those issues was the low graduation rate.

"Whoever is running the school board has to be on the same page as the teachers," said Dana Chism, a mother of three.

"Teachers have to be on the same page as the parents, parents have to be on the same page--everybody has to be in sync, together. And that's the only way that it's gonna work," Chism added.

Voters will get the chance on November 4 to choose who will win the open school board seats.

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