Myra Blackmon, who writes a column in the Athens (Georgia) Banner-Herald, has discovered an amazing and well-hidden secret: Most of our nation’s dropouts did not drop out of high school. She looked at Georgia’s high school graduation rate and did some fact-checking. The graduation rate is supposedly 67%, but many students who did not drop out are not counted as graduates.

The first thing she learned was that the U.S. Department of Education considers anyone who did not get a high school diploma in four years to be a dropout. Students who took an extra year to graduate are treated as dropouts. Students in special education who need extra time to earn credits are counted as dropouts.

Manufactured crisis? Myra Blackmon reports, you decide.