Public media awakening America to dropout crisis

Posted by Courtney Dowdall on

"In an era where most jobs require a college degree, some wonder why a high school diploma even matters,” according to a recent Huffington Post editorial.

American Graduate stations are making the public aware of why a high school diploma matters, and for the first time in decades, stagnant graduation rates have finally budged.

The previously mentioned editorial appeared last week and explained that graduation rates rose to a record-high of 81 percent in 2013, and progressing on track to reach a goal of 90 percent in 2020.

The editorial states: 

"America has finally awakened to its dropout challenge with evidence-based reforms and supports, and those efforts are bearing fruit for millions of our young people.” For our part, public media stations are contributing to this ‘awakening,’ informing the public about the facts of the dropout challenge and why it matters. Stations are gathering vital partners, collecting community input, organizing events, and creating and sharing relevant content to generate awareness, understanding, and build dialogue around what it means to graduate high school. “In addition to a being the critical pathway to college, graduating from high school means a lifetime of increased earnings, better health, decreased reliance on government assistance and crime, and higher levels of volunteering and other forms of civic engagement, compared to those who drop out.”

Taking this awakening one step further, the American Graduate initiative is sharing with audiences the stories and resources they need to get involved in solutions to the dropout crisis.

The fruits of these efforts -- new evidence-based reforms and supports -- suggest our work is making a difference, resulting in a better-informed public that can respond with concrete action.