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Robert Balfanz  // Browsing posts in Robert Balfanz

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 Obama’s goal of graduating all students from high school prepared for college or advanced career training. In high-poverty neighborhoods, in particular, our research and school improvement work indicate that students’ middle grades experiences have tremendous impact on the extent to […]

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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 of high school today, and there are some schools where students have only a 50-50 chance of getting a diploma. Hearings held last week before the House education committee suggest that Congress may be ready to tackle this problem. […]

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How Your Community Can Meet Its Graduation Challenge

How Your Community Can Meet Its Graduation Challenge

Alabama Summit  |  May 2009 Graduation Nation contains research-based guidance for addressing the dropout crisis in your community, with ready-to-print tools and links to additional online resources. One size does not fit all, so you will not find step-by-step instructions, rather you will find tools to create a customized solution that’s right for your community. […]

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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 President Obama has challenged the nation to eliminate dropping out as an option.The middle grades, particularly in high-poverty neighborhoods, have a vital role in meeting this challenge. At least half of eventual dropouts can fall off the path to graduation in the middle grades. […]

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Closing Middle Grade Achievement Gaps: Indicators and Enablers: Findings from a Decade of Work

Closing Middle Grade Achievement Gaps: Indicators and Enablers: Findings from a Decade of Work

NYC DOE Closing Achievement Gap Series  |  March 24, 2009 Finding 1: To realize the results we desire, interventions in middle grades schools must be comprehensive. Finding 2: We have underestimated the intensity and scale of the educational challenge in high-poverty middle schools. Finding 3: Creating high-poverty middle schools that prepare all students for success […]

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Meeting the Nation’s Graduation Challenge

Meeting the Nation’s Graduation Challenge

Making Graduation Count Congressional Briefing  |  March 2009 How Close is the Nation to Graduating All its High School Students? Nation’s Graduation Rate is currently about 74% Currently there is about a 20 point gap between White Students (80%) and African American and Latino Students (60%) Need to say “about” because still do not have […]

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Raising Graduation Rates: A Series of Data Briefs Progress Toward Increasing National and State Graduation Rates

Raising Graduation Rates: A Series of Data Briefs Progress Toward Increasing National and State Graduation Rates

This is the first in a series of briefs examining the progress in raising high school graduation rates over the past decade. During this period, the prevailing view on high school graduation rates has moved from the belief that essentially everyone who wanted to, or needed to, graduate from high school was doing so to […]

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Do We Have What It Takes To Put All Students on the Graduation Path?

Do We Have What It Takes To Put All Students on the Graduation Path?

Two years ago a young man named Vic Fenner attended our Baltimore Talent Development High School (BTDHS), an innovation school opened in 2004 through a partnership between Johns Hopkins University and Baltimore City Public Schools. Vic came to BTDHS as a 9th grader with myriad problems. Like many students entering BTDHS, he was performing below […]

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U.S. meeting its challenge on dropouts

U.S. meeting its challenge on dropouts

Columbia Daily Tribune | February 17, 2009 Good news is rare these days. Home foreclosures, a credit crunch and rising joblessness have sent ripples of fear through the U.S. economy. Youth unemployment is approaching levels seen during the Great Depression. The nation could use a ray of hope, and progress is being made on one […]

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2009 Grad Nation: A Guidebook

2009 Grad Nation: A Guidebook

Grad Nation is a guidebook for communities that seek to improve their high school graduation and college readiness rates. It  provides detailed information and tools to support reforms and enable effective community action in four key areas: Rallying your community to confront the Dropout Crisis Understanding the Dropout/Graduation Rate Crisis in Your Community Developing Comprehensive […]

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