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Everyone’s getting Straight A’s: Building a Grad Nation

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March 13, 2013 07:10 pm


The newest edition of the Alliance’s newsletter, Straight A’s: Public Education Policy and Progress, is now online. Here are a few excerpts from this issue.

For the first time, the nation is on track to meet the goal of a 90 percent high school graduation rate by the Class of 2020, according to a new report from Civic Enterprises, the Everyone Graduates Center, America’s Promise Alliance, and the Alliance for Excellent Education. The report, Building a Grad Nation: Progress and Challenge in Ending the High School Dropout Epidemic, finds that the Averaged Freshman Graduation Rate (AFGR) increased from 71.7 percent in 2001 to 78.2 percent in 2010. It also finds that the number of “dropout factories” fell from 2,007 in 2002 to 1,424 in 2011. Building a Grad Nation

A new report from the California Dropout Research Project at the University of California–Santa Barbara finds that English learner (EL) students make up 11 percent of students nationally, a percentage that climbs to 20 percent when students who were once classified as EL students are included. The report, The English Learner Dropout Dilemma: Multiple Risks and Multiple Resources, examines the consequences, causes, and solutions to the high school dropout crisis among EL students and argues that the social, economic, and health consequences of dropping out threatens both the general population as well as EL students.  The English Learner Dropout Dilemma

On February 26, the Alliance for Excellent Education conducted a webinar on the transition to Common Core State Standards and Next-Generation Science Standards and the opportunities and challenges for the growing number of English language learners (ELLs). During the webinar, panelists discussed numerous initiatives underway to help ELLs access grade-level content while building their language proficiency, including Stanford University’s Understanding Language initiative and the Council of Chief State School Officers’ (CCSSO) Framework for English Language Proficiency Development Standards.  Building on Common Core State Standards to Improve Learning for English Language Learners

In this issue of Straight A’s, we wrapped up our recaps of state of the state addresses given by the state governors. We highlighted Maryland, where Governor O’Malley is pushing for digital learning; Mississippi, Governor Bryant is working to reduce high school dropout rates; Missouri, where Governor Nixon proposed $150 million in additional education funding; Tennessee’s Governor Haslam announced a goal for 55 percent of Tennesseans to earn an associate’s degree or higher by 2025; and West Virginia, where Governor Tomlin praised the Alliance’s Project 24 initiative. State of the State Addresses

You can read the full articles online here. If you’d like to receive Straight A’s in your inbox, please email


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Every Child a Graduate. Every Child Prepared for Life.