The number of students graduating from Alabama high schools has improved but a new report shows the state's rates are still among the country's lowest.
The Johns Hopkins University report shows Alabama produced 2,300 additional graduates in 2006 than in 2002, with the graduation rate rising from 62.1 percent to 66.2 percent. Only five other states posted higher gains.
But despite that improvement, Alabama's 2006 rate ranked 44th and was well below the national rate of 74 percent that year.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins' Everyone Graduates Center said Alabama has fewer "dropout factories" -- schools where the number of seniors was 60 percent or less than the number of freshmen three years before.