A federal audit in California inflated high school graduation rate by 2%. 

California education leaders inflated the state’s high school graduation rate by 2 percentage points in 2014, according to the results of a federal audit announced Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Education.

Investigators found that the California Department of Education did not take into account 10,543 students who transferred to adult education programs or community colleges and therefore did not receive traditional high school diplomas. Additionally, the state education department improperly included in its graduation rate 1,849 students who received high school equivalent diplomas, such as adult education high school diplomas, which do not meet federal guidelines. Federal rules require states to report graduation rates as the number of students who receive a “regular” diploma in four years.

In a statement this week, a state education department spokesman further maintained California officials disagree with the federal audit’s overall findings. While the state maintains a system to ensure graduation rates are recorded accurately, he said, the state education department will work “to help superintendents more clearly understand what it means to accurately certify data and maintain documentation.”

Read the full article about inflated graduation rates by Mark Keierleber at The 74.