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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.

He is currently serving as the Co-Chair of My Brother’s Keeper Success Mentor Initiative aimed at reducing chronic absenteeism. 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.

Advancing the “Colorado Graduates” Agenda

Advancing the “Colorado Graduates” Agenda

“About 30 percent of Colorado high school students don’t graduate. Less than half of the ...

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Building a Grad Nation: Progress and Challenge in Ending the High School Dropout Epidemic

Building a Grad Nation: Progress and Challenge in Ending the High School Dropout Epidemic

The central message of this report is that some states and school districts are raising ...

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Putting All Students on the Graduation Path: New Directions for Youth Development, No. 127

Putting All Students on the Graduation Path: New Directions for Youth Development, No. 127

At no other time in our nation's history has graduating from high school been a ...

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Meeting the Nation’s High School Graduation Challenge

Meeting the Nation’s High School Graduation Challenge

U.S. Army National Education Conference  |  September 2009 President Obama has challenged the nation to eliminate ...

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Graduating America: Meeting the Challenge of Low Graduation-Rate High Schools

Graduating America: Meeting the Challenge of Low Graduation-Rate High Schools

This report is  a collaboration between the Everyone Graduates Center and Jobs for the Future. [ribbon]Summary[/ribbon] While ...

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Putting Middle Grades Students on the Graduation Path: A Policy and Practice Brief

Putting Middle Grades Students on the Graduation Path: A Policy and Practice Brief

The middle grades will play a pivotal role in enabling the nation to reach President ...

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Editorial: Dropout Factories

Editorial: Dropout Factories

The New York Times | May 17, 2009 About one in five American students drops out ...

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How Your Community Can Meet Its Graduation Challenge

How Your Community Can Meet Its Graduation Challenge

Alabama Summit  |  May 2009 [ribbon]Summary[/ribbon] Graduation Nation contains research-based guidance for addressing the dropout crisis in ...

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Putting Middle Grades Students on the Graduation Path

Putting Middle Grades Students on the Graduation Path

Keynote Address NMSA Middle Levels Essential Conference  |  April 23, 2009 [ribbon]Summary[/ribbon] President Obama has challenged the ...

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