Arizona, NM reduce number of high schools with low graduation rates
States also show increase in 4th and 8th grade reading proficiency
Web Producer: Laura Kittell
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Arizona and New Mexico have both reduced the number of their dropout factories - those high schools with chronically low graduation rates.
They have also increased the percentage of fourth- and eighth-grade students who can read proficiently. And more students in both states are taking advanced placement tests than several years ago.
However, a report released by a group of education organizations shows Arizona, New Mexico and other western states are lagging behind when it comes to making improvements in their graduation rates.
The report says Arizona's rate dropped from 74.7 percent in 2002 to 72.5 percent in 2009. New Mexico's rate went from 67.4 percent to 64.8 percent.
Education officials in both states point to their own figures, which show steady increases for the past three consecutive years. However, New Mexico's rate remains below the national average.
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