The report from the U.S. Department of Education indicates that high school graduation rates are at their highest since 1974.
The rate of freshmen graduating four years later in Michigan — in 2009-10 — was 75.9 percent.
That rate is much higher in Northwest Ottawa County — 94 percent of Grand Haven students and nearly 96 percent of Spring Lake students graduated in 2009-10 after four years of high school.
While the rate of Spring Lake students graduating has remained steady over the past few years, Superintendent Dennis Furton said student achievement has risen. He said the curriculum is more rigorous, there’s more content to go over and requirements have increased.
Although more students are graduating from high school nationally, more than a fifth are taking longer than four years, The Associated Press reported.
“Not everyone progresses at the same rate,” Furton said.
Grand Haven High School Principal Tracy Wilson said there are a variety of reasons that cause students to take longer than four years to graduate — including extenuating health circumstances or credits that don’t completely transfer because of differing curriculums.
For those students who fall short of credits when graduation day rolls around, high schools have options.
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