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ACLU Sues Florida Over Poor Graduation Rate

Here's a new one when it comes to raising the high school graduation rate: take the offender to court. That's what the ACLU has done. It has filed a lawsuit against the state of Florida over the low graduation rate in Palm Beach County. The civil-rights group originally filed the lawsuit against the county, but it was dismissed on the argument that the state, not the county, was the legally appropriate defendant. Now it's refiled the action against Florida.

The lawyer on the case, Chris Hansen, told me in an e-mail that as far as they know, the case is unique; they know of no other lawsuits in Florida or nationally that have been "based solely on graduation rates." State officials haven't commented (see the Associated Press story in The New York Times), and district officials didn't have much to say, either, except to say their grad rate is 80 percent, much higher than the ACLU contends.

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