Gov. Dannel P. Malloy says his proposed education overhaul will address Connecticut's fluctuating four-year graduation rate by improving the state's low-performing schools.
The Democratic governor's efforts come as a new study using 2009 data finds fewer Connecticut students are graduating from high school in four years, compared to 2002.
Malloy said that the problem is a systemic one and that other states have done more work to improve their graduation rates.
"Kids don't suddenly wake up when they're 15 or 16 and decide they want to leave school," Malloy said in an interview Friday with The Associated Press. "It's almost always the result of low achievement; it's almost always representative of not mastering skill sets earlier on in an academic career."
The national report by the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University and other education advocacy and policy groups cites data from the U.S. Department of Education. The report's data, however, do not account for population changes during the study period.
The study compared state four-year graduation rates between 2002 and 2009. States that saw a decrease in this rate were identified as "lagging."