Tuesday, February 15, 2011

New on PolicyforResults.org: Increase High School Graduation Rates

High school graduates earn more, live longer and make greater contributions to society on a number of measures than those who drop out. In contrast, high school dropouts face bleak economic futures and the cost to society is in the billions of dollars. As a part of its commitment to ensuring that youth are prepared to succeed in life, the Center for the Study of Social Policy has developed a new section on PolicyforResults that focuses specifically on high school graduation rates. In addition to facts about the issue, the new section includes strategies by which states can increase high school graduation rates. These strategies are:
  • Establish graduation as the expectation for all students.  Increasing high school graduation begins with high expectations for all students and broad recognition that the mission of America’s secondary education system must change. Policymakers, educators, parents and students alike must recognize the value of a high school diploma and demand changes that will ensure that all students are college- and career-ready .
  • Support student success from preschool to adulthood. Dropout prevention begins with an investment in early learning and continues with high quality instruction, continuous support and effective interventions from preschool through high school. Research shows the achievement gap starts well before kindergarten. A recent national call to action to increase college completion rates adopted a 10-point agenda for improving America’s education, with recommendations spanning a student’s continuum of learning from pre-school to graduate school (the P-20 continuum).
  • Target interventions to high-need students and schools. In the new economy, individuals who fail to graduate from high school face bleak futures. With strong evidence for clear early warning indicators, states, districts and schools now have the opportunity to target interventions with greater precision to the students and schools with the greatest need. However, even with increased attention to dropout prevention, some students will still fall through the cracks. Dropout prevention efforts are still needed, and they must be flexible, link to college and career training and offer strong support services to participants.

Every community has a stake in the success of its young people. Research tells us that when youth succeed, they have a clear sense of identity, a positive sense of self worth and opportunities to achieve. They are more likely to avoid risky behaviors such as substance abuse and delinquency. For more information please visit policyforresults.org.

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