The New Mexico Public Education Department reports that the statewide average graduation rate dropped last year but there's been a change in the way the rate is calculated.
The department announced Friday the graduation rate was 63 percent last year, down from about 67 percent in 2010.
The state tracks students from the time they were freshmen and the graduation rate shows what percentage of those students received their diplomas in four years.
Department officials say the latest graduation rate calculation includes some students who previously were excluded, such as those who were pregnant, jailed or had certain medical problems. The calculation change was made because of a federal requirement.
Public Education Secretary Hanna Skandera says the latest rate provides a "much more accurate picture of what's happening in our state."
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.