According to a Manhattan Institute report, the national graduation rate for the class of 2001 was 70 percent, with only 51 percent of African Americans and 52 percent of Latino students receiving high school diplomas. To combat these low numbers, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, the National Hispanic Council of State Legislatures, the United State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC), and the USHCC Foundation launched “Graduation for All: A Right and a Responsibility,” a national campaign to call attention to the students who have disappeared from school roll calls across the country, and to insist on improvement in high school graduation rates.
“The time is right to demand improvements in high school graduation rates. We must ensure that our young people have their moment and that their families can proudly send their newly minted graduates off to a bright future-our future,” said Rep. Rubén Hinojosa (D-TX), who was also joined by Rep. Robert Mendendez (D-NJ) and Sens. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Patty Murray (D-WA).
Together with Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA), Hinojosa has introduced the Graduation for All Act, H.R. 3085, which would provide funds for schools with the lowest graduation rates to hire literacy coaches, who would train teachers across the curriculum to incorporate research-based literacy instruction into their teaching. The Pathways for All Students to Succeed (PASS) Act, S. 1554, introduced by Sen. Murray, and the Graduation for All Act would help fill a gap in federal policy for students in secondary schools. The PASS Act would reform the nation’s secondary schools through a new focus on adolescent literacy, academic counselors, and a new grant program that will improve student achievement in low-performing secondary schools.
More details on the Graduation for All campaign are available on Rep. Hinojosa’s Web site, athttp://hinojosa.house.gov/news/pressrelease.cfm?id=428.