Indiana children are making strides in education, according to new data from the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s annual KIDS Count report.
Indiana ranks 26th nationally in education this year, ahead eight places from 2013.
The rankings are based on several components, such as high school graduation rates and the percentage of children in pre-kindergarten.
One of the major contributing factors to the increase is an 11-percent improvement in the number of students proficient in both 4th grade reading and 8th grade math.
But despite these gains, many students still lag behind.
Sixty percent of Indiana children don’t attend preschool, and 20-percent of high school students don’t graduate on time.
Indiana Youth Institute President Bill Stanczykiewicz says parental involvement could give kids the boost they need to perform better in school.
"A quality teacher only can go so far if the child is not getting support at home," Stanczykiewicz says. "We’re hopeful that more kids receive mentors in their lives who can give kids the support and encouragement that they need."
The report also shows 28,000 Indiana teenagers neither attend school nor work - a rate unchanged since 2008.