Graduation Differences Studied

TAMPA -

There's a new study that tries to explain why Florida's high school graduation rate appears high when calculated by the state, but ranks near the bottom in national statistics.

A think tank at Florida State University looked at why there are differences in the graduation rates.

Basically, it's because each state calculates its rate differently. Florida for instance includes students who earn a General Equivalency Diploma or GED while most states do not.

'It seems to us there should be one graduation rate and it should be comparable to other states,' says Carol Weissert, director of the LeRoy Collins Institute.

A spokesman for the Florida Department of Education, Tom Butler, agrees there should be a national graduation standard.

'We trust our graduation rates simply because of the tracking mechanism we have in place for students,' Butler says. He adds the department calculates graduation rates three different ways and lists each and the methodology on the web site.

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