New report on dropout crisis reveals signs of hope

Date: November 30, 2010

America’s Promise Alliance, of which Ombudsman is a proud partner, along with Civic Enterprises and Johns Hopkins University’s Everyone Graduates Center released an encouraging report today. It provides some of the first positive signs that America is making progress in reducing dropout rates in high schools around the country:

Nationwide, the number of “dropout factory” high schools fell by 13 percent – from 2,007 in 2002 to 1,746 in 2008. Experts say targeting these high schools for improvement is a critical part of turning around the nation’s dropout rate. While these schools represent a small fraction of all public high schools in America, they account for about half of all high school dropouts each year.

“Public schools are showing improvement thanks to reforms and other efforts that have been put in place, but we need to dramatically increase the pace of progress,” said Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education. “No principal, school board, teachers’ union or mayor can resolve a community’s dropout crisis alone. It takes everyone working together to make progress every year and build on success.”

Education leaders say that the new report, Building a Grad Nation: Progress and Challenge in Ending the High School Dropout Epidemic, shows progress is possible, even among schools in lower-income, urban and rural districts that many previously thought hopeless. The report was released by Gen. Colin Powell, USA (Ret.), founding chair, America’s Promise Alliance (the Alliance) and Alma J. Powell, the Alliance’s current chair. It was written by Civic Enterprises and the Everyone Graduates Center. The report’s lead sponsor is Target, along with sponsorship from AT&T and Pearson Foundation.

In March of this year, with the support of President Obama and Sec. Duncan, the Alliance and its more than 450 national partners launched Grad Nation—a multi-year campaign to mobilize Americans to end the national dropout crisis.

“America still faces a dropout crisis, but this report shows why there is reason to be hopeful,” said Marguerite Kondracke, president and CEO, America’s Promise Alliance. “Certain communities have made big progress in a short time, and they can share their lessons with others. But, the major discovery in the report is that when administrators, teachers, community officials, state governments, parents and business leaders work together, schools can be transformed.”

Read the full news release here

The America’s Promise Grad Nation announcement event summary and photos are here.


Categories: Dropout Prevention & Recovery, News
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