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ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — The number of high schools with chronically low graduation rates has fallen in Arizona and New Mexico, according to a study released Monday by a group of education organizations.
The two states have also increased the percentage of fourth- and eighth-grade students who can read proficiently. And more students in both states are taking advanced placement tests than several years ago.
However, the report shows Arizona, New Mexico and other western states are lagging behind when it comes to improving their graduation rates. In fact, the report puts Arizona and New Mexico in a group of 10 states that had lower rates in 2009 than they did seven years earlier.
The report ranks Arizona and New Mexico fifth and sixth, respectively, when it comes to childhood poverty. The states also have high populations of Hispanic and American Indian students, who typically fall below the national average when it comes to graduating. And there has been an influx of English-learning students.
“There are school districts that are trying,” said Colleen Wilber, a spokeswoman for America’s Promise Alliance, one of the groups behind the report. “They’ve got to adjust to all of that.”
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