--DOE, State Board, Governor’s Office look to increase high school graduation rate--
Dover, Delaware – Governor Ruth Ann Minner, Secretary of Education Valerie A. Woodruff, educators, elected officials, business leaders and some of the most prominent child advocacy organizations in Delaware will gather on October 28th at the Sheraton Inn and Conference Center in Dover to develop an action plan for increasing the area’s high school graduation rate in order to ensure that Delaware’s young people are better prepared for college, work and life.
A report commissioned by America’s Promise Alliance, the nation’s largest alliance of organizations working on behalf of children and youth, found that only about half of all students served by the main school systems in the nation’s 50 largest cities graduate from high school. In Delaware’s 2006-2007 school year, approximately 2026 students out of 37,253 in grades 9 through 12 (5.44 percent) dropped out. Nationwide, nearly one out of every three public high school students drop out before graduation. That’s 1.2 million each year, one every 26 seconds or nearly 7,000 each school day.
Bob Wise, President of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former Governor of West Virginia will give the morning keynote address. Dr. Robert Balfanz, associate research scientist at Johns Hopkins University Center for Social Organizations of Schools will speak at noon.
“Helping our students stay in school not only helps to better prepare them for college and the workplace, but it helps our state businesses who are looking for a more educated workforce,” said Governor Ruth Ann Minner. “We must work together as a community to ensure that our students graduate from high school so they can more easily achieve their future personal and career goals.”
“The key to increasing graduation rates at the city, state and national level is to stop working in isolation and to start working together,” said Marguerite Kondracke, president and CEO, America’s Promise Alliance. “That’s why we are convening these summits. We need curriculum reform, after-school programs, efforts to improve health care and nutrition programs, increased resources and greater accountability. Most of all, we need to recognize that no one local or national entity can solve this crisis alone, but working together, we can make enormous strides to ensue our children succeed.”
Research shows that the more support youth have, both inside and outside of the classroom, the more likely they are to stay in school. Specifically, research demonstrates that the more young people experience five essential wrap-around supports, what the Alliance calls the “Five Promises” – caring adults, safe places, a healthy start, effective education and opportunities to help others – the greater their chance for future success.
The goal of the summit is to craft an action plan for Delaware. “It is not enough to merely raise awareness of the dropout issue,” said Secretary of Education Valerie A. Woodruff. “We must act and act now to keep more youth in school and to prevent higher levels of incarceration and greater reliance on public programs and services. Greater prosperity to families, our state and our country is at stake.”
The summit is part of America’s Promise Alliance’s Dropout Prevention Campaign, a national effort to reduce high school dropout rates and prepare children for college, work and life. The campaign includes a series of ground-breaking, high-level Dropout Prevention Summits that will be held in every state and 50 communities over the next two years. The lead sponsor for the national campaign is the State Farm Insurance Company. State Farm is joined by AT&T, The Boeing Company, Casey Family Programs, Ford Motor Company Fund, ING Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation.
For more information and to learn how to get involved, visit www.americaspromise.org.
To register online for this free summit, visit http://dcet2.k12.de.us/apareg/main.hal
The Department of Education is committed to promoting the highest quality education for every Delaware student by providing visionary leadership and superior service.
Delaware Department of Education
401 Federal Street, Suite #2
Dover, Delaware 19901
Phone: (302) 735-4035
Fax: (302) 739-4654
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