The 2013 Annual Building A Grad Nation report was released on Monday, February 25th at the 2013 Building A Grad Nation Summit in Washington, DC.
The report – authored by John Bridgeland and Mary Bruce of Civic Enterprises and Robert Balfanz and Joanna Fox at the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University – reveals that high school graduation rates are increasing and, for the first time, the nation is on track to meet the goal of a 90 percent graduation rate by the Class of 2020.
The report features public media’s work through American Graduate: Let’s Make it Happen, as a key to building knowledge, highlighting solutions, and increasing community-based partnerships that contribute to progress in addressing the dropout crisis.
1) For the first time, the U.S. is on track to meet the goal of 90% high school graduation rate by 2020
The current national graduation rate is 78.2% - up from 73.2% in 2006. This growth was driven in large part by significant gains in Hispanic and African American graduation rates, with Hispanic rates achieving the greatest gains, jumping 10 percentage points from 61 percent in 2006 to 71.4 percent in 2010. Similarly, African American graduation rates rose from 59.2 percent in 2006 to 66.1 percent in 2010. Download Full Report
2) Over 1 million fewer students attended dropout factories in 2011 than in 2002
The number of “dropout factories” totaled 1,424 in 2011, down from 1,550 in 2010 and a high of 2,007 in 2002. The number declined by 583 or 29 percent between 2002 and 2011. As a result, nearly 1.1 million fewer students attended dropout factories in 2011 than in 2002. More significantly the report found the number of African American and Hispanic students attending these schools declined dramatically. Download Full Report
3) While increases in African American and Hispanic graduation rates drove the accelerated pace, significant disparities remain.
The nation’s ability to close these gaps will determine whether it meets and maintains a 90 percent graduation rate by 2020. Download Full Report
Why does graduating from high school matter?
High school graduates are more likely to be employed, make higher taxable incomes, and generate jobs than those without a high school diploma. Had the nation already reached our 90% goal, the additional graduates from a single class would have earned an estimated $6 billion more in income, generated more than 37,000 jobs and increased the GDP by $5.6 billion. Graduates are less likely to engage in criminal behavior or receive social services. They have better health outcomes and higher life expectancies. Furthermore, high school graduates are more likely to be civically engaged. Strong evidence also links increased educational attainment with higher voting and volunteering rates. Finally, this issue even affects national security, since only graduates can be accepted to serve in the armed forces.
The 2013 Building a Grad Nation Summit, the signature annual event of America’s Promise Alliance’s Grad Nation campaign, brings together community organizations, national nonprofits, school systems, business leaders, government officials at all levels, parents and youth from around the country to examine the progress and remaining challenges in the nation’s efforts to increase high school graduation rates and close opportunity gaps for youth. America's Promise Alliance is a key partner in the American Graduate Initiative.
The American Graduate Initiative, is part of the summit’s opening plenary session where CPB’s President and CEO, Patricia Harrison, shares how public media stations are working closely with their local communities to develop on-the-ground programs that are helping to keep students on track to high school graduation and better prepare them for college and career.
More than 75 public radio and television stations in over 30 states have joined forces with over 800 partners and 200 at-risk schools to shed light on the problem and share solutions. Through American Graduate: Let’s Make it Happen, local public television and radio stations are empowering individuals at the community level with knowledge by increasing national and local reporting, convening diverse local stakeholders, and providing access to free resources for teachers and parents. By working together and remaining vigilant, we are increasing the footprint of progress, reaching more children and communities and seeding the foundation for a prosperous economic future for our country. Discover What's Happening In Your Community
Patrica Harrison- CEO
Kavitha Cardoza - Special Correspondent
Mike Mariner -An original founder of Roadtrip Nation
Also featured: A sneak peak at two highly anticipated American Graduate Documentaries: