Press Release

America’s Promise, Pearson Collaborate on New Grant Initiative

Daria Hall, 202.657.0621, [email protected]
Laura Howe, 202.471.2187, [email protected]


America’s Promise Alliance, Pearson Join Forces to Increase U.S. High School Graduation Rate to 90 Percent by 2020

Three-year Collaboration to Invest in Statewide Efforts, Build National Learning Community to Share Best Practices 
$200,000 Grants Available to Statewide Convening Organizations

Washington, D.C. – America’s Promise Alliance and Pearson today announced a three-year collaboration to increase U.S. high school graduation rates to 90 percent and prepare millions more young people with the skills necessary to succeed in college, work and life.

While the recently released Building a Grad Nation report shows that the country reached a record high graduation rate of 81.4 percent in 2013, progress on the state level has been uneven, with statewide graduation rates ranging from 69.2 to 89.7 percent. The research also found that nearly all states graduate significantly lower percentages of students from low-income families, students of color, and students with disabilities.

The new GradNation State Activation initiative will encourage statewide collaboration to increase graduation rates for all students, share and replicate what works within and across states, and develop successful models all states can implement.

Starting today, state convening organizations can apply for one of three $200,000 grants funded by Pearson. The organizations selected will positively impact young people on their pathway to graduation and beyond by facilitating cross-sector collaboration, leveraging state assets, communicating progress and lessons learned, and developing programs that can be replicated and scaled.

America’s Promise has pooled together a number of judges with various positions in the education and youth development sectors to help select grantees. The Blue Ribbon judging panel will include Building a Grad Nation report co-author John Bridgeland, president and CEO, Civic Enterprises; Gov. Bob Wise, president, Alliance for Excellent Education;  Karen Pittman, co-founder, president and CEO, The Forum for Youth Investment;  and 2015 National Teacher of the Year Shanna Peeples.

In addition, America’s Promise will create – and invite grantees and other organizations to join – a national learning network of organizations interested and engaged in state-level strategies to increase high school graduation rates.

“Pearson has a very simple mission: to help people make the most of their lives through learning and education,” said Shilpi Niyogi, Pearson’s senior vice president of corporate affairs and government relations. “This in an opportunity to carry out that mission in a concrete way by ensuring more students are prepared to enter higher education or America’s workforce.”

“We are focused on creating the conditions under which every young person in America has a chance to reach his or her full potential,” said John Gomperts, president & CEO of America’s Promise. “The partnership between Pearson and America’s Promise Alliance will engage states as key partners in the effort to provide many more young people with the support they need to complete school and contribute to the economic strength of their families, communities, and the nation.”

GradNation State Activation was created in support of the GradNation campaign, a national movement of organizations, communities and individuals working together to raise high school graduation rates to 90 percent by 2020 and increase postsecondary enrollment and completion.  

The deadline to receive applications is July 31, 2015. To learn more about the GradNation State Activation initiative and apply visit:

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[email protected] & @Pearson announce three-year #GradNation State Activation Initiative.


America’s Promise Alliance leads an alliance of organizations, communities and individuals dedicated to making the promise of America real for every child. As its signature effort, the GradNation campaign mobilizes Americans to increase the on-time high school graduation rate to 90 percent by 2020 and prepare young people for postsecondary enrollment and the 21st century workforce.

Pearson is the world’s leading learning company, with 40,000 employees in more than 80 countries working to help people of all ages to make measurable progress in their lives through learning.