Arkansas moving to new system to report grad rates

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A new system for reporting graduation rates at Arkansas schools will take effect during the next school year. State education officials tell the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette the new method will require better tracking of students and reporting of students' demographic information such as race, ethnicity, family income and special needs.

The system is being implemented because of a 2008 amendment to the federal No Child Left Behind education law. All states now will use a common reporting system.

The new calculations to be used by Arkansas school districts to determine graduation rates appear on the 2010 Arkansas School Performance Report. Under the former method of determining graduation rates, Arkansas' rate was 86 percent during the 2009-10 school year.

Under the new system, the rate would have been reported as 84 percent.

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