from the conclusion of the report written by Robert Balfanz, John M. Bridgeland, Joanna Hornig Fox & Laura A. Moore
A report by Civic Enterprises, Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University, America’s Promise Alliance & the Alliance for Excellent Education
22 March 2011 - Although it has only been four months since the initial release of Building a Grad Nation: Progress and Challenge in Ending the High School Dropout Epidemic, significant progress continues to be made both in implementing the Civic Marshall Plan and ensuring that more students will graduate from high school prepared for the rigors of college and the workforce.
Maintaining this momentum and sustaining the reforms that have already been put in place, particularly at the federal and state levels, will be critical (updated Grad Nation indexes for all 50 states can be found at www.every1graduates.org). The many states, districts, and schools that have boosted high school graduation rates and the net reduction in 373 dropout factories over the last decade serve as both a challenge to others that can make similar progress and a beacon of hope for our work.
Report: Fewer U.S. high schools are 'dropout factories'
Yahoo! News -
This progress would not be possible without strong collaborations among the public and private sectors. These efforts show that, working collaboratively in local communities and across the nation, we can stem the dropout tide, meet national goals, and take important steps in ensuring the next generations of students are educated to meet the increasing demands of our society, economy, and democracy. To help make this vision a reality, we encourage states, districts, schools and communities to adopt the Civic Marshall Plan framework and benchmarks to organize and accelerate their efforts. Our progress as a nation depends upon it.
We are now able to report that from 2008 to 2009 (the most current data available), the number of dropout factory high schools decreased by an additional 112 schools to 1,634, representing an annual rate of progress approximately three times as fast as the previous period.
By 2009, approximately 580,000 fewer students attended a dropout factory high school compared to the beginning of the decade. Although the national high school graduation rate is still too low1 and too few of our graduates have the skills they need to succeed after high school, an essential foundation has been laid to significantly increase graduation rates to 90 percent for the Class of 2020 and concerted efforts to rise to a standard of excellence are bearing fruit. This report is the first in a series of annual updates that will be provided through 2020, as the nation makes progress and confronts challenges to meet this national goal.
Building a Grad Nation | Progress and Challenges
The central message of this report is that some states and school districts are raising their high school graduation rates with solutions that other public schools can use. This means that the nation can end its dropout crisis. America made progress not only in suburbs and towns, but also in urban districts and in states across the South.
Progress is often the result of states and districts rising to a standard of excellence — with clear goals and expectations from the state to the classroom, by challenging all students with a more rigorous curriculum to obtain a meaningful diploma that prepares them for college and work, and through a targeted approach sustained over time that provides extra supports to the school leaders, teachers and students who need them the most. Progress was not the result of a magic bullet, but a weave of multiple reform efforts, sustained, integrated, and improved over time.
Civic Marshall Plan State Indices
The Civic Marshall Plan (CMP) State Indices compile significant indicators of each state’s progress in addressing the dropout challenge, using widely available national metrics at significant grade levels. The CMP State Indices provide a quick, easily understood snapshot of each state’s status in meeting the graduation challenge, tallied against important benchmarks. They also identify the areas that need improvement if the state is to achieve a graduation rate of 90 percent or higher by 2020. As additional information and recommendations become available, the CMP Indexes will be expanded; they will also be updated annually, by March 1, to provide a “track record” of growth.
Download the 2011 State Index below.
For more information about Building a Grad Nation and the Civic Marshall Plan, click here. For a guidebook for communities that seek to improve their high school graduation and college readiness rates, click here.
How to Interpret the data
This page contains a series of tables and graphs which collectively provide insight into the high school graduation challenge in each state.
Graduation Rate Indicators provide three measures of the current progress towards high school graduation (that are comparable across states).
� Average Freshmen Graduation Rate provides an estimate of the overall graduation rate
�Promoting Power is an estimate of the how many students are progressing on time from 9th to 12th grade.
�12th grade to Diplomas estimates how many students enrolled in the 12th grade in the fall receive a diploma by the end of the summer.
Current Graduation Gap provides an estimate of the number of student in the state who likely need additional supports to graduate.
Grade Enrollment and Graduates Graph provides a picture of where students in the state are falling off the path to graduation.
Improvement Gauge shows how graduation indicators have changed over the past 8 years and the past 4 years (for which data is available). The top 10% of states receive a gold star, if not in the top 10% but in the top 25%, they receive a silver star.
Promoting power compares the number of seniors enrolled in a high school to the number of freshmen enrolled in the high school three years earlier. It provides a measure of how efficiently and effectively high schools promote their students from grade to grade. Promoting power is also a good indicator of high schools that have both high and low graduation rates. It is very likely that high schools which have 60% or fewer seniors than freshmen three years earlier will have unacceptably low graduation rates by state and national standards.
The graph below shows the promoting power for California's high schools.* The tables that follow show how promoting power varies across Texas's high schools by free lunch level, minority concentration, location, and school size. For more information on Promoting Power and national and regional trends see Locating the Dropout Crisis by Robert Balfanz and Nettie Legters, Johns Hopkins University.
*Promoting Power data is based on a three year average for the classes of 2005, 2006, and 2007.