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Building a Grad Nation: Progress and Challenge in Ending the High School Dropout Epidemic

Abstract

"America is finally confronting its high school dropout challenge. Some schools and communities across the United States have seen significant increases in high school graduation rates in recent years and have put in place the innovative schools, whole school reforms, early warning and intervention systems, and student supports that help keep more students on track. Others have languished, making little effort at all, ignoring important data, or hoping one program will address the different reasons students cite for dropping out. Because many schools and communities have successfully boosted student achievement and high school graduation rates, and many states have made significant gains, others can too. This progress should serve as a challenge to our communities, states, and nation.

This report takes a critical look at the efforts that have heralded improvements in graduation rates, and those that have failed to do so, in our communities. It presents fresh analysis of graduation rate and promoting power data, highlights effective case studies, provides an update on progress on various reforms, and offers a Civic Marshall Plan developed by leaders across the nation based on the best research, evidence, and real-world practice to build upon the momentum of the last decade. While the results of the past decade have been mixed, with progress in some areas, and limited improvement in others, these efforts have laid the groundwork for more rapid and systemic progress in the next decade."

See Update to this Report, Spring 2011.

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