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      Report: More high school students earning diplomas

      The Michigan Center for Educational Performance and Information reports high school graduation rates increased nearly 2% in 2012.

      The Michigan Center for Educational Performance and Information reports high school graduation rates increased nearly 2% in 2012.

      President of the State Board of Education, John Austin, says tougher academic requirements are forcing students to become more engaged in their classes.

      Austin claims more engagement leads to fewer dropouts.

      When we set high rigorous standards and teachers in schools engage young people in learning, graduation rates are going up," Austin said. "Kids are more involved and they see more relevance in what they are doing,."

      Locally, graduation rates have been improving at Frankfort-Elberta Area Schools in Benzie County.

      Over the past five years, its graduation rate climbed from 80.39% to 91.67%.

      During that same time period, the school's dropout rate decreased from 11.76% to 5.56%.

      Traverse City Area Public Schools, Kingsley Area Schools and Glen Lake Community Schools have also reported improvements.

      Michigan's graduation rate was 76.24% in 2012.