TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- State education officials say Florida's federal graduation rate dramatically increased by 3.9 percent this year.
They announced on Friday that 74.5 percent of Florida's high school students graduated within four years.
It's the biggest increase since 2003. The rate has climbed 18 percentage points since then.
The rate is based only on standard diplomas as required by federal regulations effective last year. Until then, Florida used its own system that included other diplomas to arrive at a higher rate.
Department of Education officials don't know yet where Florida ranks nationally. The state traditionally has had one of the nation's lowest rates.
Minority rates have increased sharply in recent years but still lag. The rates this year are 63.7 percent for blacks and 72.9 percent for Hispanics.
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