PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - A new report shows Maine ranks 15th in the nation for students graduating on time, with 85 percent of high school students who entered the ninth grade in 2008 earning their diplomas in 2012.

However, state education officials urge caution in interpreting the report released Monday. They say the graduation rate is just one way to assess schools.

The report is by education groups that include America's Promise Alliance, an organization founded by former Secretary of State Colin Powell. It shows the nationwide graduation rate hit 80 percent in 2012, its highest ever.

The commissioner of the Maine Department of Education cautioned the state should not lose focus that 37 percent of its students graduate without meeting Maine proficiency standards in reading and math.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Read or Share this story: