Nevada Has Lowest High School Graduation Rate In U.S.

A new report says Nevada's high schools have the lowest graduation rate in the nation.

The report, by Editorial Projects in Education, a nonprofit based in Maryland, says about 45 percent of Nevada's high school seniors got diplomas in 2005. The national average was 71 percent, with New Jersey leading the way at 83 percent.

Clark County's graduation rate is even lower. At 44.5 percent, it was the fifth lowest in a ranking of 50 of the country's largest school districts.

Researchers found Nevada's graduation rate has actually slipped 10 percentage points in recent year. In 2001, nearly 55 percent of high school seniors in Nevada got diplomas.

Clark County school officials took issue with the study's methodology. They say it doesn't take into account the number of students leave the school system and enroll elsewhere.

That number is higher because Nevada has a transient population.