Better high school graduation rates may be an illusion

Over the past several years, high school graduation rates nationwide have improved, Yahoo! News reports. On Monday, the Florida Department of Education announced the state’s graduation rate hit a record high of 80.1 percent. But don’t expect those numbers to continue rising, due to a federal mandate that takes effect next year. New federal rules that mandate states to report graduation rates uniformly will go into effect for the class of 2012, meaning states, including Florida, will no longer be able to count students who finish special education and adult education programs in their state graduation rates. Under current federal laws, states are allowed to lump in students who complete special education programs, night school, the GED, and virtual high school programs along with those who earn a traditional high school diploma…

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