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ALLIANCE CO-HOSTS SUMMER BREAKFAST SERIES: Leaders in Education Discuss Successful High School Transformation and Increasing Graduation Rates

This summer, the Alliance for Excellent Education and America Graduates co-hosted a summer breakfast series during which leaders in the field of education gathered to discuss issues related to successful high school transformation and ways to increase graduation rates. Experts presented recent research findings and spotlighted effective transformations through profiles of emerging models.

On June 21, the first session in the series featured the premier researchers in the United States currently examining high school graduation rates. Nettie Legters and Robert Balfanz from Johns Hopkins University discussed the findings of their latest report, Locating the Dropout Crisis: Which High Schools Produce the Majority of the Nation’s Dropouts, Where are they Located, and Who Attends Them? Daniel Losen from Harvard University’s Civil Rights Project presented the findings of Losing Our Future: How Minority Youth Are Being Left Behind by the Graduation Rate Crisis, which was jointly released by the Civil Rights Project, Urban Institute, Advocates for Children of New York, and the Civil Society Institute earlier in 2004.

On July 8, Mike Cohen, President of Achieve, and Susan Traiman of the Business Roundtable presented at the second breakfast meeting in the series. Cohen discussed the findings of Achieve’s latest report, Do Graduation Tests Measure Up?: A Closer Look at State High School Exit Exams, and Traiman responded to the issues from the business perspective.

In the third and final session in the summer series, the focus turned to adolescent literacy. Donna Alvermann of the University of Georgia, discussed her new book, Bridging the Literacy Achievement Gap: Grades 4-12, co-written by Dorothy Strickland of Rutgers University (see article below). The book integrates research and practice about successful literacy development for older students and is an invaluable resource in discussions of both adolescent literacy and the achievement gap. Betty Sturtevant, Literacy Program Co-coordinator at George Mason University, spoke about her work in the area of adolescent literacy and coaching. Sturtevant authored a November 2003 report released by the Alliance for Excellent Education, The Literacy Coach: A Key to Improving Teaching and Learning in Secondary Schools.

Locating the Dropout Crisis is available here  .

Losing Our Future is available here.

Do Graduation Tests Measure Up? is available here

The Literacy Coach is available here

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