Volunteers help students in California, where the graduation rate is crucial to nationwide goal of 90 percent

While recent graduation rate news showed that the United States hit its highest percentage ever —  80 — and is on track to hit 90 percent by 2025, there was some sobering news for California.

The United States “cannot reach its 90 percent goal without California, the nation’s most populous state,” declared America’s Promise Alliance, which on Monday released its fifth annual update regarding the school dropout crisis. “California will need to graduate a total of 440,000 more students – 300,000 of them from low-income families – by 2020 if the state is to obtain a 90 percent graduation rate,” the group said, according to an op-ed in The Sacramento Bee.

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Minimum wage debate important, but there's a better way to get a rise in the tide

There’s an important debate going on in our nation about whether we should raise the minimum wage.

This debate has been stimulated, in part, by a growing national awareness that the current minimum, $7.25 per hour, is insufficient to support the basic needs of most working Americans, and particularly those supporting families. Many people are also coming to recognize that the value of the minimum wage has fallen considerably against inflation in the past four decades.

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U.S. graduation rate hits milestone of 80 percent — but there's still work to be done

The United States has hit a new milestone — an 80 percent graduation rate from public high schools.
While it's great to celebrate the achievement, that still means 1 in 5 students walks away from their education without a diploma.

Researchers are hopeful there will be a 90 percent graduation rate by 2020, according to an Associated Press article that ran in the Arizona Daily Star.

Growth in the graduation rate has been pushed by a better awareness of the dropout epidemic and state and federal governments using dropout and graduation rates in accountability measures.

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Free webinar Thursday addresses body-image bullying

Are you a teacher or administrator who has students being bullied because of body image?

A free webinar hosted by Graduation Alliance, which sponsors this blog, is hosting a free webinar on Thursday, April 24 at 1 p.m. Pacific/ 4 p.m. Eastern with Utah State University's Dr. Maya Miyairi.

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Usher joins as producer for the documentary "Undroppable"

The documentary about the dropout epidemic just got some big star power behind it.

Multi-Grammy-winning musician Usher will serve as an executive producer for Jason Pollock's film "Undroppable," the St. Louis American reported.

Justin Beiber’s manager Scooter Braun brought Usher to the film as he will be one of the film's five producers.

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Study: Students in juvenile justice facilities just aren't getting the education they need and deserve

Students who are locked up in the juvenile justice system are not getting the education they need to improve their lives and reduce their recidivism rates.

That’s what the report “Just Learning: The Imperative to Transform Juvenile Justice System Into Effective Educational Systems” released today by the Southern Education Foundation, which works to promote educational equality in the South, found.

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Ohio's idea to address struggling readers simply isn't the right answer

Students who struggle to read on level at a young age can disengage from school and often eventually drop out.

That's what Patrick O'Connor sees in students across the nation.

O'Connor is a professor at Kent State University and a researcher for the National Dropout Prevention Center. He's found that struggling to read hurts a student in every academic field.

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Demonstrators set up empty desks outside of L.A.'s school district headquarters

Demonstrators made a big statement in L.A. Tuesday as they set up 375 neatly aligned school desks on the street in front of the Los Angeles Unified School District's headquarters.

The empty chairs represented the number of students who dropped out of the district each week in the 2011-2012 school year. That amounted to 8,748 students that year, according to the L.A. Times.

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Contest asks youths to share their education stories through hip-hop, spoken word entries

A new youth hip-hop and spoken word contest and radio special launched today to help students share their educational stories.

The group Youth Speaks is running the "Raise Up" contest, where students can submit entries through June 30. Those entries will be judged by celebrities such as Def Jam co-founder Russell Simmons and actress Rosario Dawson. The winners will perform at the Kennedy Center.

The contest is part of American Graduate: Let's Make It Happen, a public media effort supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

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North Carolina program helps at-risk students earn a diploma

A new program at North Ridgeville High School in North Carolina is giving students the chance to graduate.

Ranger Academy offers help to students who simply don’t thrive in a traditional classroom setting, according to an article in The Morning Journal. Students can work outside the classroom at their own pace. Classes are held from 8:30 to 10:20 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Monday through Friday and are required to complete an additional 20 hours outside the classroom. It also has a 2:45 to 4:45 p.m. program for credit recovery.

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