The effectiveness of the Denver Preschool Program is doing well in its mission to prepare kids for kindergarten, notes the Denver Post. But if the state education system as a whole fails to improve, the road ahead for those kids looks rocky. Using a new formula required under federal law, state officials have released the latest numbers on high-school graduation rates: Just 72.4 percent graduated on time in 2010, according to Education News Colorado. And when you look specifically at Denver’s numbers, the rate plummets to a paltry 51.8 percent.

Still, that’s better than in 2009, when just 46.4 percent graduated. What’s at stake? America’s education race, writes Wall St. 24/7, which points out that in recent years several states have fallen behind, with Colorado topping the list. We’re among those states with “declining math and reading scores, lower numbers of people with bachelor’s degrees, and comparatively fewer residents who hold white-collar jobs.”