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Building a Grad Nation: Progress and Challenge in Ending the High School Dropout Epidemic


Robert Balfanz, PhD, Director, Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University
John M. Bridgeland, Chief Executive Officer, Civic Enterprises
Phillip Lovell, Vice President of Federal Advocacy, Alliance for Excellent Education

The national high school graduation rate increased from 72.6 percent in 2002 to 75.5 percent in 2009, 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, also finds that the number of high schools graduating 60 percent or fewer students on time—often referred to as “dropout factories”—decreased from 2,007 schools in 2002 to 1,550 schools in 2010.

Which states and which parts of the country are making the most progress in increasing high school graduation rates and reducing dropout factories? Which states are lagging? What reforms can states and districts make in the elementary, middle, and high school years to increase the number of students who graduate from high school prepared for college and a career? What role can the federal government play?

The Alliance for Excellent Education held an in-depth discussion on the data and research presented in a new report, Building a Grad Nation. The Alliance heard from report authors Robert Balfanz of the Everyone Graduates Center and John Bridgeland of Civic Enterprises. Alliance Vice President of Federal Advocacy Phillip Lovell offered federal recommendations and moderate the discussion. Panelists also addressed questions submitted by viewers from across the country.

Categories: High School Dropout Rates

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Every Child a Graduate. Every Child Prepared for Life.