Press Release

Nashville Leaders Announce Plans to Hold High School Graduation Summit at America’s Promise Alliance Regional Forum

Efforts Will Aim at Improving Nashville’s 32% Drop Out Rate

NASHVILLE – During closing ceremonies today at the America’s Promise Alliance’s (the Alliance) 2007 Regional Best Practice Forum, Alignment Nashville announced it will host a local summit designed to focus efforts on supporting Metro Nashville Public Schools’ work to increase the city’s  high school completion rates. Currently, 25 percent of students nationally, compared to 32 percent in Nashville, fail to complete high school.

“The goal of Alignment Nashville’s local summit will be to foster continued discussions around the high school dropout crisis and better educate and engage the Nashville community about the challenges Nashville is facing when it comes to graduating its students ready and prepared for college or work,” said Sydney Rogers, Executive Director, Alignment Nashville.

Another objective of the local Nashville summit will be to communicate to local citizens the variety of support programs currently or soon available to area high school students that Alignment Nashville’s 109 partners and Metro Nashville Public Schools’ upcoming “career academies” provide to help students explore career and educational options.

“The powerful and productive discussions on how to improve high school completion rates will continue thanks to Alignment Nashville’s commitment to a local summit,” said Marguerite Kondracke, President and CEO of the America’s Promise Alliance. “Alignment Nashville is a terrific example of how a city’s various sectors—public, private, and non-profit—can come together to support the local school district and really make a difference. Alignment Nashville understands that not all of Nashville’s young people are getting what they need to become successful, productive adults and is working to reverse this tide. The community must rally around the public schools to provide this support.”

Alignment Nashville is the largest sustained collaboration effort of any kind in the history of Nashville. The organization was founded in 2002 following the results of a study conducted by the Nashville Chamber of Commerce that examined how to bring community resources and organizations into alignment to support Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools’ strategic plan to improve student achievement. Alignment Nashville’s mission is to ensure that all the services children need are provided to them in an effective and efficient way that complements their education and the goals of the public schools.

Through Alignment Nashville, political leadership, nonprofits, public agencies and the business community have come together to pool resources and programming to support the public schools and ensure that children and youth are the city’s top priority and that the needs of the whole child are met. Efforts of the public schools are already showing positive results, with more elementary and middle school students testing proficient in reading and language arts, as well as high school completion rates steadily increasing from 57.8 percent during the 2002-03 school year to 60.3 percent during the 2004-05 school year and 68 percent for 2005-06. 

Nashville was named one of the Alliance’s 2007 100 Best Communities for Young People for its efforts to nurture the city’s young people, including those part of Alignment Nashville’s work to support the city’s schools and help prepare its young people to graduate from high school prepared for college or the workplace.

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For more information on the high school dropout problem, please visit: http://www.silentepidemic.org
For more information on Alignment Nashville, please visit: http://www.alignmentnashville.org.

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About the America’s Promise Alliance – www.AmericasPromise.org
America’s Promise Alliance is the nation’s largest partnership alliance comprised of corporations, nonprofit organizations, foundations, policymakers, advocacy and faith groups committed to ensuring that children receive the fundamental resources - the Five Promises – they need to lead successful, healthy and productive lives and build a stronger society. Building on the legacy of our founder General Colin Powell, the Alliance believes the success of our children is grounded in experiencing the Five Promises - caring adults; safe place; a healthy start; an effective education; and opportunities to help others - at home, in school and in the community.