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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Sunday, November 24, 2002

DOE rejects lower estimate of graduation rate in Hawai'i

Associated Press

The state Department of Education is disputing a report released Thursday that said only seven in 10 Hawaii students graduate.

The Manhattan Institute estimated that 69 percent of Hawai'i students who entered ninth grade in 1996 graduated four years later.

The report by the New York think tank that promotes education reform is questionable because it does not track students individually, therefore missing those who move out of state or transfer to private schools, said Thomas Gans, acting administrator of the DOE's Evaluation Section.

"They're taking a flying guess," Gans said.

Between 82 percent and 87.5 percent of Hawaii students graduated in the period the survey looked at, the DOE said.

The study found graduation rates ranging from a low of 55 percent in Florida to a high of 87 percent in New Jersey, with the U.S. average the same as Hawai'i's — 69 percent.