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Audit shows Missouri graduation rates are nine percent too high.

April 5, 2006
By: Josh Kranzberg
State Capital Bureau

A new report shows 86 percent of Missouri's high school seniors graudated in 2004.

But as Josh Kranzberg reports from the state Capitol, Missouri's state auditor says that number is inaccurate

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Claire McCaskill reports schools in Missouri failed to report 19,000 students who started as freshman in 2000 and graduated in 2004. The audit also shows graduation rates were 9 percent too high. McCaskill says schools should be more responsible.

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Contents: "If you're gonna make schools accountable based on a set of information, that information has to be consistent, it has to be standardized, and it has to be auditable. There has to be accountability."

In repsonse, the state's Education Department says their plans for student tracking systems won't be in place for at least two more years. From Jefferson City, I'm Josh Kranzberg.

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Missouri schools aren't graduating as many students as they've reported.

Josh Kranzberg explains why Missouri's state auditor is putting the blame on the federal government.

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Claire McCaskill found Missouri's graduation rates being reported 9 percent over their actual figures.

She called the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002 a "great soundbite."

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Contents: "No one wanted to do the groundwork and make sure that there were systems in place to accurately record the data and these school system had the tools to do it. I mean, this is a great example of somebody in Washington coming up with a great soundbite, and just having miserable followthrough."

She also criticized the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, saying they should implement their student tracking program as soon as possible.

McCaskill is running for the Democratic nomination for the US Senate.

From Jefferson City, I'm Josh Kranzberg.