The percentage of Montana students who graduate from high school has risen over the past decade, though state officials say the dropout rate remains a problem they hope to cut in half in the next two years.

Montana graduated 270 more students in 2009 compared to 2002 and the state's graduation rate rose from 79.8 percent to 82 percent over that period, according to a new report by a children's advocacy organization.

Those rates outpaced the national average of 72.6 percent in 2002 and 75.5 percent in 2009.

The report will be presented Monday in Washington at the Building a Grad Nation summit primarily sponsored by America's Promise Alliance, a children's advocacy organization founded by former Secretary of State Colin Powell.