Like most blogs, this one starts small and humble. And like all blog hosts, we aspire to big things: We want the GradNation blog to be a must-see digital destination for anyone with a passion for creating greater opportunities for at-risk young people. If you come with us – adding your voice to the conversations we will start – we’ll reach that aspiration together, and the GradNation blog will become that place where useful and provocative content is posted, discussed and debated.
The recent release of federal data showing the U.S. high school graduation rate has hit 80 percent is fantastic news. For the first time in our nation’s history, 4 out of 5 students earned a high school diploma within four years of beginning 9th grade. That’s huge. If this rate is upheld, we could see a 90 percent graduation rate by 2020. That would be momentous.
The GradNation campaign got two big shots of good news this week. First, the U.S. Department of Education released preliminary data showing continued increases in high school graduation rates in most states. And the number of low-income students, minority students, students with disabilities and English language learners -- who graduated in 2014 is up in a majority of states as well.
A decade ago, the National Research Council released a report that showed that between 40 and 60 percent of U.S. high school students are disengaged from learning and don’t put much effort into school. Since that time, other studies have found that student motivation is a problem at all levels of the educational system, and that students’ desire to learn decreases steadily from the start of elementary school until they graduate from high school or dropout
“What set you from?” “What hood you wit?” “What you doing around here?”
As students across the country have graduated from high school, we know that the transition into the “real world” can be a challenge. Here are 10 tips that will help make the transition a little easier.
On a hot summer afternoon in Tucson, Arizona, I decided to take a walk, visiting young people I care a lot about but don’t know. I didn’t walk alone, instead joining a group of remarkable community leaders. The heat didn’t bother us, nor did it stop us. We were walking with a purpose.
In 2013, First Lady Michelle Obama approached then-Secretary of Education Arne Duncan with the goal of inspiring more young people to attend college. As a first-generation college student at Princeton University, Mrs. Obama had experienced firsthand the complexities of navigating the college application process and the challenges of entering a new culture very different than her own. During her time as First Lady, she has spoken of her own confusion as a college freshman, from uncertainty in picking classes to getting lost on campus to her shock at fellow students driving BMWs.
This article is part of the “What’s Working” series, which highlights promising practices for helping to close the graduation gap in communities and states across the country. My job title can be a little misleading.
I don’t have teenage kids any more, but I do have a special interest in the nearly 4 million kids who are just starting high school right now. Back in 2010, the GradNation campaign set a goal of 90 percent high school graduation by 2020, and we’ve made great progress since then, reaching an all-time high graduation rate of 82.3 percent.