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Great American High School Campaign: Reforming the Nation’s Remaining Low-Performing High Schools

Great American High School Campaign: Reforming the Nation’s Remaining Low-Performing High Schools

After more than a decade of progress in improving high school graduation rates, there remain about 1,300 traditional high schools in need of serious improvement and redesign, according to new research from the GradNation campaign. Among them are more than 800 low-graduation-rate high schools with an average graduation rate of 49 percent. From the inner city to the heartland, these high schools sit at the fault lines of race, class, and inequity in America.

The Great American High School report, authored by Civic Enterprises and the Everyone Graduates Center at the Johns Hopkins University, was released today in partnership with America’s Promise Alliance and the Alliance for Excellent Education, the four leading organizations of the GradNation campaign working to increase the national on-time graduation rate to 90 percent.

“In spite of a decade’s worth of progress in reducing the number of low-performing high schools, we continue to live in two educational nations where a student’s chance at graduating high school varies wildly based on the school they attend,” said John Bridgeland, president & CEO, Civic Enterprises. “Most students attend schools where the average graduation rate has already reached the national goal of 90 percent and dropping out is rare. In the remaining schools, however, on-time graduation for students is only a 50-50 proposition.”

The research, which analyzes five national data sources from graduation rate data to Census data, identifies the progress made and remaining challenges in enabling all students to graduate from high school ready for college or career; documents the scale, scope, and location of the remaining low-performing high schools; shares the challenges these schools face; details what we know about effective and evidence-based high school reform; and lays out a path forward for supporting high school redesign in the communities and school districts that have not continuously improved.

Follow this link to read the full report.

Follow this link for the executive summary.

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