Monday, September 19, 2011

High School Completion

The beginning of the school year offers new opportunities for students and communities across the country. For young people, completing high school is an important step in preparing for adulthood. However, according to America’s Promise, one in four public school children drop out before they finish high school; amounting to 1.3 million students a year – one every 26 seconds, 7,000 every school day. The rate of high school drop-out is a crisis impacting the young people, families and communities that make up this country; and the economic impact for the U.S. is significant (costing society billions of dollars and endangering the country’s ability to compete in the 21st century workforce). Grad Nation, an initiative of America’s Promise, has two goals related to improving rates of high school completion: achieving a 90 percent graduation rate nationwide by 2020, with no school graduating less than 80 percent of its students, and to regain America’s standing as first in the world in college completion. Through this initiative, America’s Promise released, Building a Grad Nation, a report that highlights successes in raising the graduation rates in rural, suburban and urban school districts across the country.

There are a number of resources available for policymakers considering ways to ensure students are supported and successful in school.