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Audit: MO high school graduation rates are inflated

By AP/KWMU

Jefferson City, MO – A new state audit suggests high school graduation rates in Missouri are inflated.

The state reported 86% of students graduated in 2004. But the audit found only 77% of students who had entered the ninth grade four years earlier finished.

The gap appears to lie in how schools treat students that leave school. The audit found most schools assume students transferred to another - which lowers their drop-out rate - but they don't have documents to prove that.

The audit concludes the formula for determining graduation rate is flawed because 75,000 students entered ninth grade four years earlier, but data are missing on 19,000 of those students.

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