Mass. Seeks To Toughen Graduation Rate Standard

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Education commissioner Mitchell Chester is recommending the state toughen its graduation rate standard.

Under the No Child Left Behind Act, states must set graduation standards to measure the yearly progress of high schools.

Chester wants to increase Massachusetts' graduation standard from 60 percent to 65 percent. Schools that show a two-percent graduation increase would also meet the standard.

The standard applies not just to overall student populations, but to racial and ethnic groups.

While the statewide graduation rate was just over 81 percent in 2008, the rate varied widely by group, from 87 percent for white and Asian students to 58 percent for Hispanic students.

The state education board will discuss the plan Tuesday.

This program aired on February 23, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.