Education is the best investment we can make for our society today — to ensure a stronger tomorrow. That’s why Graduation Alliance works to give students of all ages the resources, support, and flexibility they need to reach their educational goals and prepare for what’s next.
In partnership with educators, government agencies, and community leaders across the nation, Graduation Alliance provides versatile pathways to high school graduation for youth and adults, fosters college and career exploration, and connects job creators to skilled and ready workers. Since 2007, Graduation Alliance has worked with more than 200 state agencies, school districts, community colleges, and workforce boards around the country to recruit, re-enroll, educate, and mentor students.
What challenge is this solution working to address?
Nationwide, approximately 4.5 million high school age youth should be in school, but they aren’t. It is common perception is that these youth don’t care about school or understand the value of a high school diploma, but national research and our experience show the opposite to be true. Civic Enterprises in their groundbreaking research published in The Silent Epidemic in 2006 found that approximately 78% of students left school for non-academic reasons (need to work to support their families, pregnant or parenting, chronic medical issues, social anxiety or bullying, etc). Nationally, 67% of dropouts were passing all of their courses when they left school. Eighty-one percent said they believe a high school education is important for achieving their goals in life, while 76% reported they would return to school if they could attend a program with others in the same situation. Graduation Alliance has surveyed more than 12,000 returning dropouts about their motivations for returning to school. Approximately 36% reported that they wanted to attend college and 33% said they needed a diploma to get a job or a better job.
Belfield, Levin, and Rosen (2012) estimated the cost of lost economic opportunities as well as fiscal costs from foregone tax revenues, and additional public costs such as crime and higher public health and welfare costs of so-called “opportunity youth,” at $258,240 per youth, over a lifetime in present value, and the cost to society at $755,900.
Several states have developed evidence-based pay-for-performance dropout recovery programs to address these challenges. Graduation Alliance, which has successfully served the most at-risk students in our nation, has been called on to consult with policymakers across the country on best practices in dropout recovery and many of these practices have been included in legislation to bring flexibility and funding mechanisms into alignment with best practices in dropout recovery.
Model Legislation Package #1 contains a model bill summary and complete model legislation for a district-implementation pay-for-success model for dropout recovery.
Model Legislation Package #2 contains model bill summary and model legislation for a state-managed pay-for-outcomes dropout recovery program that references the best practices of the state-managed adult high school diploma programs currently being operated in Ohio and Michigan.
This Solution Is Agile Because…
It helps students achieve the critical milestone of acquiring a high school diploma / GED, so they can move on to postsecondary programs and/or workforce opportunities.