Opportunity Finance Network pledges $1 billion to Obama's 'My Brother's Keeper' initiative

A group of financial institutions is coming together to provide $1 billion to President Barack Obama's "My Brother's Keeper" program to help young black and Hispanic men stay in school and out of the criminal justice system.

The Opportunity Finance Network will ask for pledges from each of its more than 225 community development financial institutions, and leaders believe that will be $1 billion, according to a Washington Post article.

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Ohio governor calls on educators for ideas to reduce dropout rates

Ohio’s governor is asking school officials across the state to help kids stay engaged in school and make it to graduation.

In his State of the State address, Gov. John Kasich mentioned dropouts as one of his key points.

“Dropping out is a dead end,” he said, according to The Coshocton Tribune. “It can lead to a life of unrealized dreams. It can lead to poverty. We need to help get these kids back on track.”

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Webinar to help educators use the Common Core to reach at-risk students

Common Core State Standards have been controversial throughout the country.

But they can be downright intimidating for teachers who are working with students who are at-risk of dropping out.

The Reaching At-Promise Students Association is hoping to quell any fear by hosting a collabinar looking at how to individualize instruction for students using Common Core standards.

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Leaders of districts with high graduation rates share their success stories

Leaders from school districts across the nation who are seeing high graduation rates shared their tactics with U.S. News this week.

These leaders head up districts with about a 90 percent graduation rate.

The three biggest lessons gleaned? Prevention, alternative paths to graduation and support from the community all help students reach the finish line.

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Are online courses the best ways to help at-risk students?

Providing flexibility and accessibility to at-risk students is key to keeping them on the graduation path.

But are online courses the best way to provide those options?

A new study in Massachusetts, conducted by the UMass Donahue Institute is looking at just that. The study is looking at about 6,000 students in 19 high schools, and it focuses on online classes that are similar to summer school classes, according to NEPR.

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Private-public partnerships help students succeed with Diplomas Now

Schools across the nation are beating the odds and finding ways to help the most at-risk students succeed in school.

Robert Balfanz and Cynthia Trudell wrote an opinion column in Crain’s Chicago Business that espoused the value of schools partnering with Diplomas Now, which Balfanz co-founded. In 39 schools in 13 cities, students are staying on track to graduate, thanks to a public-private partnership with the U.S. Department of Education and the PepsiCo Foundation.

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Learn about life-skill instruction and how it can help solve the dropout epidemic

The National Dropout Prevention Center/Network is hosting its first live TV webcast to address "Solutions to the Dropout Crisis" on March 4.

The event will air from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. EST at www.dropoutprevention.org/webcast.

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Florida superintendent looks to help, rather than punish, misbehaving students

A Florida superintendent has turned discipline policies on their head — and it's paying off in dividends.

Robert Runcie took over Broward County Public Schools about two years ago, and the changes he's made have been radical.

“Looking at the glaring expulsion, arrest and dropout rates for our black and Latino students, I knew that we had to do something dramatically different,” Runcie told NBC News.

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More understanding of students' attitudes toward school will lead to a better predictor of drop out

Those of us in the fight against the dropout epidemic know that a student’s decision to drop out is not made overnight.

In some cases, a student’s kindergarten experience pulls them off the track of graduation, while others begin to lose interest in late elementary or middle school. In many cases, plain old demographics play a majorly disruptive role in a student’s education.

But many students who exhibit risk factors persevere and others who have low risk factors drop out. So how do you tell who is going to and who isn’t early enough to intervene?

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Op-Ed: Policymakers and at-risk students suffer from a class divide that makes dropout prevention more difficult

When policymakers create solutions for dropouts, they might not be thinking the same way as students with at-risk backgrounds.

An op-ed in The Pierce County Tribune by Lloyd Omdahl looks at the mindset differences between those who set policy and those who are expected to follow it.

In his piece, he focuses heavily on class differences and how people from high classes and low classes perceive the world.

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