Education Officials Say NC's Graduation Rate Will Be Low

The way North Carolina calculates its graduation rate has long been criticized as giving an unrealistic picture of how many teens are getting high school diplomas.

That's about to change, when figures based on a new accounting system are released.

State schools superintendent June Atkinson says the data will track students through four years of high school, accounting for how many dropped out and how many stayed to get a diploma. She says the numbers are still being tallied, but it looks like the graduation rate will be somewhere in the 60 percent range -- putting it somewhere below coverage compared to other states.

Atkinson says the state can take a number of steps to improve that rate. She wants lawmakers to raise the age through which teens are required to go to school. And she'd like to see money invested to allow teachers and pupils to use new technologies in the classroom that they'll use -- or are already using -- in the wider world.