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Gov. Bob Wise Speaks on Dropout Crisis at White House Briefing Today, Urges Federal Commitment to Improving High Schools

Press Release:

Gov. Bob Wise Speaks on Dropout Crisis at White House Briefing Today, Urges Federal Commitment to Improving High Schools

Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia, speaking at a White House briefing this morning, called on Congress to address the nation’s high school dropout crisis.

Moderating a panel at the briefing on “The Dropout Epidemic in the United States and Cross-Sector Solutions” hosted by the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives and America’s Promise Alliance, the governor spoke of the economic impact of the nation’s low graduation rate and how the federal government can and must play a role in education reform at the high school level.

“I want to thank the White House and America’s Promise for this important briefing,” said Wise, author of Raising the Grade: How High School Reform Can Save Our Youth and Our Nation, a book that Jossey-Bass will publish this week. “We must remember this crisis affects all of us—student, citizen, taxpayer. A dropout earns $260,000 less over his or her lifetime than a high school graduate, and $1 million less than a college graduate. If the students who dropped out of the Class of 2007 had graduated, the nation’s economy would have benefited from an additional $329 billion in income over their lifetimes. Ultimately, the best economic stimulus package for our country is a high school diploma.

He continued, “The good news is that with the leadership of the administration and key members of Congress, a new and much more significant federal role in addressing the dropout crisis is emerging. Some necessary federal pieces now under consideration on Capitol Hill include setting a college and work readiness goal for every student, holding schools accountable for graduating students; increasing efforts to assist states in developing comprehensive data systems; targeting federal funding to the lowest- performing high schools; building middle and high school literacy skills; and making the necessary investments in research, data, and innovation.”

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The Alliance for Excellent Education is a Washington-based policy, research, and advocacy organization that works to make every child a graduate, prepared for postsecondary education and success in life.

For more information about the Alliance for Excellent Education, please visit:

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