Arkansas' Graduation Rate Higher Than U.S. Average

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Arkansas' high school graduation rate is higher than the national average, but boys still lag behind female students in terms of getting diplomas.  That's from a new national report released today.

A report from Education Week found that Arkansas' average graduation rate, based on 2003-2004 data, was 72.2 percent, while the national average was 69.9 percent.  Arkansas' graduation rate ranks directly in the middle of all 50 states.

Of all neighboring states, only Missouri had a higher graduation rate listed in the report, while Tennessee's rate was the same as Arkansas'.

But similar to other states, Arkansas saw a significant gap between its number of graduating male and female students. percent of male students graduated in 2003-2004, while 76.9 percent of female students finished high school.

The report breaks down graduation rate by school districts.  In Arkansas, the lowest graduation rates were in the Delta of eastern Arkansas, while schools in Fayetteville and several districts in southeast Arkansas had the highest rates.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)