OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ More than a million high school students nationwide, almost one in three, failed to graduate with their peers in 2003-2004 school year, according to a new report. Oklahoma's graduation rate was 70.4% , compared to 69.9% nationally, according to the report released Tuesday. This was a supplement to the ``Diplomas Count'' report from the publishers of Education Week. The report looked at graduation and career and college preparation by state and school district.
``You find examples of the highest performing districts and the lowest performing districts ... next to one another,'' researcher Christopher Swanson said in a conference call with reporters.
The beginning of high school is where many students drop out.
``We find the weakest part of the high school pipeline nationwide is ninth grade,'' said Swanson, who is director of the research center at Editorial Projects in Education, the nonprofit organization that publishes Education Week.
Researchers found that standards for the state's students and teachers are high, noting that the state requires 23 credits for graduation compared to a national average of 20.
``What this report tells me is that Oklahoma has, and continues to adopt the policies it needs to ensure its graduates are prepared for college and the demanding world of work,'' said state School Superintendent Sandy Garrett.