Academic Achievement

Relative to other states, student performance in Indiana is higher than average as a result of significant improvement since our last report. The state is a full 10 percentage points above the national average in the percentage of 4th graders at or above the proficient level on the NAEP math exam. The national average is 42%.

Academic Achievement of Low-Income and Minority Students

Indiana earns a solid grade on academic achievement for low-income and minority students. Thirty-nine percent of Hispanic 4th graders and 37% of low-income 4th graders score at or above the proficient level on the NAEP math exam. The national averages are 26% and 25%, respectively. 

Return on Investment

Student achievement in Indiana is high relative to state spending after controlling for cost of living.  

Truth in Advertising: Student Proficiency

Indiana posts middling marks on the credibility of its student proficiency scores. The grade is based on the difference between the percentage of students identified as proficient in reading and math on the 2011 state exams and the percentage identified as proficient on the 2011 NAEP reading and math tests.

Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness

Indiana earns an average grade preparing its students for college and careers. Eighty percent of 9th graders receive a diploma in four years, and 16 students out of 100 pass an AP exam.

21st Century Teacher Force

Indiana does an above average job of creating a strong teacher workforce. The state successfully removes ineffective teachers but struggles with expanding the overall teacher pool. 

Parental Options

Indiana does an excellent job providing parents with strong school choice options. The state has a strong charter school law and one of the most expansive statewide school choice programs in the country. 

Data Quality

Indiana earns an excellent grade collecting and reporting high-quality education data. The Hoosier State has policies in place requiring the use of a longitudinal data system, and it creates reports on both student and school performance. 


Indiana receives an above average grade employing technology to provide quality instruction and personalized learning. Students have access to high-quality digital learning options, but the state’s funding system needs to be updated to ensure greater use. 

International Competitiveness

Indiana earns a mediocre grade preparing its students to compete in a global economy. Thirty-three percent of students are proficient in reading and math, just above the national average, compared with an international standard.

Fiscal Responsibility

Indiana receives below average marks on fiscal responsibility. Only 61% of the state’s pension is funded.