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Robert Balfanz

Principal Investigator and Researcher

Robert Balfanz, PhD, is a research professor at the Center for the Social Organization of Schools at Johns Hopkins University School of Education, where he is co-director of the Talent Development Secondary reform model and director of the Everyone Graduates Center. He is a leader and a co-founder of Diplomas Now, an evidence based school transformation model for high needs middle and high schools which combines whole school reform with enhance student supports guided by an early warning system and winner of a federal Investing in Innovation (I3) validation grant which is currently being implemented in forty schools across twelve school districts. He has published widely on secondary school reform, high school dropouts, early warning systems, chronic absenteeism, school climate, and instructional interventions in high-poverty schools. He focuses on translating research findings into effective school interventions. His also a frequent speaker on dropout prevention and early warning indicators and has consulted with numerous state education associations through partnerships with the National Governors Association and Jobs for the Future. Dr. Balfanz is the first recipient of the Alliance For Excellent Education’s Everyone a Graduate Award and the National Forum’s to Accelerate Middle Grade Reform Joan Lipsitzs Lifetime Achievement award. In 2013 he was named a Champion for Change for African American Education by the White House.   He holds a B.A. in history from Johns Hopkins University and a PhD in education from the University of Chicago.

Stop Holding Us Back – More Information

This month more than three million high school students will receive their diplomas. At more than 80 percent, America’s graduation rate is at a record high. More kids are going to college, too. But one-third of the nation’s African American and Latino young men will not be among the graduates.

See Stop Holding Us Back, New York Times, June 7, 2014.

Stop Holding Us Back – More Information

For more information, research cited, and tools, see Graduating Young Men of Color.

Building a Grad Nation 2014-2015 Update

Building a Grad Nation 2014-2015 Update

Too many students are trapped in failing schools or in communities of intergenerational poverty with ...

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A Rising Tide of Graduation Rates

A Rising Tide of Graduation Rates

John Bridgeland, former Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council & CEO of Civic ...

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Building a Grad Nation 2015 Executive Brief

Building a Grad Nation 2015 Executive Brief

The Building a Grad Nation Executive Brief highlights the national high school graduation rate trends, depicting ...

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Fixing No Child Left Behind: Innovation to Better Meet the Needs of Students (Roundtable)

Fixing No Child Left Behind: Innovation to Better Meet the Needs of Students (Roundtable)

Dr. Robert Balfanz testified before the US Senate HELP Committee on February 3, 2015. The ...

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Harnessing Penny Power to Learn What Works

Harnessing Penny Power to Learn What Works

Teachers and principals are always looking for ways to better teach and support students—including searching ...

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Omarina’s Story – An Update on Middle School Moment

Omarina’s Story – An Update on Middle School Moment

How has Omarina Cabrera fared since her Middle School Moment? Frontline checked in. NARRATOR:  It’s the ...

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The Power of a Penny: Building Knowledge to Invest in What Works in Education

The Power of a Penny: Building Knowledge to Invest in What Works in Education

The federal government spends less than one-tenth of a penny, out of every dollar invested ...

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Stop Holding Us Back

Stop Holding Us Back

This month, more than three million high school students will receive their diplomas. At more ...

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Building a Grad Nation 2013-2014 Update

Building a Grad Nation 2013-2014 Update

This fifth annual update on America’s high school dropout crisis shows that, for the first ...

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2015 Building a Grad Nation Annual Update Learn more