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Personalizing High School: Breaking Barriers to High Achievement


Julie Evans, Chief Executive Officer, Project Tomorrow
Mariana Haynes, PhD, Senior Fellow, Alliance for Excellent Education
Yvette Jackson, PhD, Chief Executive Officer, National Urban Alliance for Effective Education
Michael Wotorson, Executive Director, Campaign for High School Equity

Even as the nation’s unemployment rates remain high, employers continue to say they cannot find applicants with the right skills. Too many high school students—disengaged from their educational environment or falling behind in their course work—drop out or graduate from high school unprepared. In fact, in America today, one in four students fails to graduate from high school on time. Among African American, Hispanic, and American Indian students, only slightly more than half graduate with a regular diploma. Even fewer finish college.

Almost two-thirds of new jobs created in the fastest-growing sectors of the economy require some postsecondary education. High schools must change. New approaches must provide learning experiences that are personalized, deeply engaging, and focused on high-level content and complex skills. Today, students in high-poverty schools have less access to the kind of high-level inquiry considered a hallmark of a quality education. Certainly, the vast majority of urban public education systems have been unable to bring even half their students to proficiency in academics and readiness for college and careers.

On November 29 the Alliance for Excellent Education held a webinar featuring two educational leaders—Yvette Jackson of the National Urban Alliance for Effective Education and author of The Pedagogy of Confidence: Inspiring High Intellectual Performance in Urban Schools; and Julie Evans, chief executive officer of Project Tomorrow—who described how to change the essential learning conditions within high schools and provided the pedagogical and technological tools to enable and empower students to achieve high intellectual performance. Alliance Senior Fellow Mariana Haynes moderated the discussion and fielded questions from webinar viewers across the country.

Supplemental Materials:

This event is made possible with support from
Carnegie Corporation of New York

Categories: High School Dropout Rates

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Every Child a Graduate. Every Child Prepared for Life.