The state education department yesterday released graduation rates for the class of 2010, otherwise known as the "2006 cohort" because that's when they started high school.

The rate continued to improve statewide and in New York City (the city's calculation of its four-year graduation rate, which includes people who graduate in August, was even higher.)

But a new measure introduced by the state, which looks at Regents test scores to see which graduates are really ready for college, reveals a gap between what a high school diploma implies and what it actually means.