Washington, DC, November 30, 2010 – Today, the Pearson Foundation joins business, government, education and child advocacy leaders in releasing Building a Grad Nation: Progress and Challenge in Ending the High School Dropout Epidemic, a comprehensive report that reveals the first positive signs that America is making progress in reducing the number of students who drop out of high school. The report, produced by America’s Promise Alliance, Civic Enterprises and Johns Hopkins University’s Everyone Graduates Center, documents America’s progress in improving high school graduation rates–even in low-income, urban and rural school districts.
Building a Grad Nation and the plan of action it recommends are the result of the Pearson Foundation Dropout Prevention Roundtable, a summit of educational leaders convened in March 2010 specifically to address the dropout crisis and to identify innovative research and practice currently improving graduation rates in school districts across the United States. The Pearson Foundation also provided support for the research and documentation that informs the report’s key findings.
Specifically, Building a Grad Nation highlights:
Although these efforts are producing real results in school districts across the United States, the research presented today concludes that the pace is too slow to meet the national goal articulated by President Obama and U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan of a 90 percent high school graduation rate by 2020. To meet this goal, the report recommends that we calibrate our educational system to the greater demands of the 21st century through a Civic Marshall Plan deliberately designed to accelerate student achievement, high school graduation rates, and college- and career-readiness.
“Public schools are showing improvement thanks to reforms and other efforts that have been put in place, but we need to dramatically increase the pace of progress,” said Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education. “No principal, school board, teachers’ union or mayor can resolve a community’s dropout crisis alone. It takes everyone working together to make progress every year and build on success.”
“The research presented by America’s Promise Alliance, Civic Enterprises and Johns Hopkins University’s Everyone Graduates Center shows just how much has already been achieved as a result of everyone working together to tackle this essential issue,” said Pearson Foundation President Mark Nieker. “We have seen important gains in districts and states, even if, as the report makes clear, the need for progress still remains.”
Other findings of the report showcased schools that have shown dramatic gains:
To view Building a Grad Nation and other programs and initiatives the Pearson Foundation supports, visit the: http://www.pearsonfoundation.org.
The Pearson Foundation extends Pearson’s (NYSE: PSO) commitment to education by partnering with leading nonprofit, civic, and business organizations to provide financial, organizational, and publishing assistance across the globe. The Foundation aims to make a difference by sponsoring innovative educational programs and extending its educational expertise to help in classrooms and in local communities. More information on the Pearson Foundation can be found at: http://www.pearsonfoundation.org.