KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Michigan’s 2010 high school graduation rate was about 76 percent, counting only those students who enrolled in 2006 and completed high school within four years, the Kalamazoo Gazette reported as part of a larger look at graduation rate data.

About 11 percent of the potential 2010 graduates dropped out and the rest were continuing on in high school, the report said.

The lowest graduation rates are found in alternative education programs and high-poverty urban schools, the Gazette reported. Even within the same district, a conventional high school may have a high graduation rate while the district’s alternative program has very low rates, according to the Gazette.

For example, in the Clintondale School District in Macomb County, the graduation rate at Clintondale High School is 80 percent, while the graduation rate at the alternative education program is 4 percent, the report said. The alternative education program is larger than the regular high school, the Gazette reported.

For the Class of 2009, Hartford High School in Van Buren County had a four-year graduation rate of 54 percent, which improved to 90 percent in 2010.

In the intervening year, the district created an alternative education program, the Gazette reported. That program had a graduation rate of zero last year, according to the report, and the district’s overall rate stayed about the same in both years.

The Kalamazoo Gazette, “School Zone Blog: Graduation and Dropout Rates for Michigan’s Class of 2010,” March 13, 2010

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, “Graduation Rates an Imperfect Measure of School Excellence,” Jan. 7, 2002