Nevada's 56 Percent HS Grad Rate Worst in U.S.

The U-S Department of Education says Nevada has the worst high-school graduation rate in the country.

A new federal list of the state rates for 2005 shows only 56 percent of Nevada's students graduated from high school.

The only other states with rates below 65 percent are Alaska, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina.

The states themselves often disagree with the federal figures. For example, Nevada's state education officials estimate the graduation rate is about 65 percent.

That's slightly better than the 61 percent rate Alaska estimates for itself, the worst rate estimated by an individual state.

The numbers vary because of the different ways states compile the statistics. For example, Florida includes those who receive GED certificates in lieu of diplomas.

New Mexico only counts the number of enrolled 12th graders, which leaves out the large number of dropouts who leave school before their senior year.

Nevada officials say the figures here are skewed because of the high number of transients who move in and out of the state before they would graduate.

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