New Mexico graduation rate drops

Posted at: 11/30/2012 4:56 PM
Updated at: 11/30/2012 5:32 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

The state's plunging graduation rate for high school seniors has educators looking for solutions that will keep students in school earning their diplomas.

New Mexico went from bad to worse with the 2010-2011 school year graduation rate.

Only 63 percent of our state's public school seniors graduated on time last spring, down from 67 percent the year before.

The U.S. Department of Education ranks New Mexico second-worst in the nation just ahead of Nevada.

Albuquerque Public Schools, the state's largest school district, has been offering after-hours school for kids who have jobs or need tutoring, along with other programs aimed at keeping students on the diploma trail.

"We had improvement at 12 of the 17 high schools," said school district spokeswoman Monica Armenta. "Sure, we absolutely still have a four year graduation rate of 63 percent, but it's slowly but surely climbing."

The school district also offers alternative schools like New Futures to keep kids from dropping out.

The state with the best graduation rate is Iowa with an 88 percent graduation rate.