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Comptroller Audit Questions City's Graduation Rates

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An audit released Tuesday by City Comptroller William Thompson charges that the city's higher graduation rates include students who have not fulfilled all their requirements.

Thompson, a mayoral candidate, suggests the city is allowing students who have not fulfilled prerequisites to graduate.

The audit, which sampled 90,000 students from 2003 to 2007, claims one out of every 10 graduates did not earn their diplomas. Thompson finds schools credited students for passing the same course multiple times, and some students had grades changed just before or even after graduation.

During an interview on NY1's "Road to City Hall" Tuesday, Thompson also placed blame on Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, even calling for his termination.

"The New York City Department of Education has become the Enron of American education. Showing the gains and hiding the losses," said Thompson.

City Hall says graduation rates are up 15 percentage points since Mayor Michael Bloomberg took office.

In response to Thompson's audit, the mayor's campaign says, "Instead of politicizing the comptroller's office with phony attacks, Mr. Thompson should be explaining his own failed record on education. The facts are clear: When Bill Thompson ran the old dysfunctional Board of Education graduation rates were flat and dropout rates increased."

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