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NGA Selects Six States to Participate in New Dropout Prevention Initiative

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"When a student drops out of high school, it hurts that individual's opportunity for a bright, successful future and is a loss to society as a whole."

Last week, the NGA Center for Best Practices announced the new initiative, State Strategies to Achieve Graduation for All, to help six states (Colorado, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Tennessee, and West Virginia) develop comprehensive statewide, high school dropout prevention programs.

“When a student drops out of high school, it hurts that individual’s opportunity for a bright, successful future and is a loss to society as a whole,” said NGA Center Director John Thomasian. “Those who drop out of high school are less likely than others to be employed, more likely to receive public assistance, and more likely to be incarcerated. The State Strategies to Achieve Graduation for All initiative will help the selected states devise policies to combat the dropout problem.”

The initiative aims to help the selected states analyze their dropout problem, assess the gaps in dropout prevention strategies, recover former dropouts, and create a dropout prevention and recovery action plan. States will receive the assistance of national experts in the field as well as the opportunity to participate in high-level discussions regarding the crisis.

“While we are seeing pockets of progress, thousands of Colorado students are still dropping out of school each year, limiting their job opportunities and making it harder to become career or college ready,” said Colorado Governor Bill Ritter (D). “This initiative will allow Colorado to help shape a national strategy, achieve my 10-year goal of cutting Colorado’s dropout rate in half, and move us closer to the day when ‘graduation for all’ is truly a reality.”

The initiative is highly informed by a previous NGA report entitled, Achieving Graduation for All: A Governor’s Guide to Dropout Prevention and Recovery, which was covered in the November 9 issue of Straight A’s. More information about State Strategies to Achieve Graduation for All is available at http://tinyurl.com/ycost2q.

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