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Posted: Monday, February 21st, 2005 10:01 AM HST

State denies having one of the worst graduation rates in nation

By Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) _ State education officials are disputing an independent group's findings that public high school graduation rates in Hawaii are among the lowest in the nation.

A new study by the Manhattan Institute found that Hawaii's graduation rate in 2002 was just 63 percent, which ranked 42nd in the nation. The state Department of Education puts the graduation rate much higher, at nearly 79 percent.

Robert McClelland, director of the D-O-E's planning and evaluation office, says the department is very confident in its figures.

Marcus Winters, one of the independent study's authors, says while the study's rate is probably not perfect, it's hard for it to be very far off.

The study found that the national high school graduation rate was 71 percent in 2002. New Jersey had the highest rate at 89 percent. South Carolina had the lowest, at 53 percent.


(Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved.)



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