National Dropout Prevention Center and Network honors South Carolina woman

Students in South Carolina are lucky to have someone like Karen Cooper-Haber on their side.

The district coordinator for family intervention services at Richland Two School District helps students return to the classroom by working with families and providing summer and after-school programs to give kids alternative recreation options.

Cooper-Haber was awarded the Crystal Star Individual Award of Excellence in Dropout Recovery, Intervention and Prevention by the National Dropout Prevention Center and Network, according to

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Education leaders asked to help craft a new policy to better assess at-risk students

The Reaching At-Promise Students Association is working on a new policy initiative to help the country's most disengaged students.

In a partnership with Momentum Strategy & Research, RAPSA is asking education leaders to participate in a survey. It will gather information about schools that serve the most at-risk students who may not be well represented by traditional measures of academic success.

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Conference focuses on creating alternative accountability policies for schools that reach at-risk learners

Education leaders from around the United States And Canada spent two days discussing alternative accountability policies for students who are at-risk of dropping out.

The Reaching At-Promise Students Association and SIATech jointly held the San Diego conference. Speakers ranged from civil rights leader Dr. Terry Roberts to Congressman Alan Lowenthal, all of whom focused on encouraging students to succeed and finding policies to encourage that success.

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Lincoln Public Schools hit record high graduation rates, low dropout rates

Lincoln Public Schools has something to celebrate.

The high schools there are enjoying their highest graduation rates and lowest dropout rates on record, reports KLKN.

"Increasing the high school graduation rate is the most important instructional strategic goal for our school district – and that makes perfect sense," said LPS Superintendent Steve Joel. "As we continue raising our standard of excellence at LPS, increasing numbers of LPS students leave our high schools with a meaningful diploma that serves as the gateway to better employment and a successful college career."

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Graduation Alliance and Tecumseh Public Schools hosts first-ever Dropout Recovery Walk

This week, students, administrators and community members came together in Tecumseh, Mich., to do something they had never done before.

They gathered together to walk their community's street to tell dropouts "We want you back" in their first-ever Dropout Recovery Walk.

It was a joint effort between Tecumseh Public Schools and Graduation Alliance, which sponsors this blog.

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Charter school to help adults in Memphis earn high school diplomas

Each year, about 7,200 students drop out of Memphis schools.

While district administrators and community organizations are working hard to change that number, there are tens of thousands of adults in the city without a high school diploma, many of whom are struggling to find employment.

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Graduation Alliance team leader emphasizes the need for multiple solutions to the dropout epidemic

Everyone in the dropout fight knows there isn't just one silver-bullet solution to end the epidemic that is sweeping many of our students out of school.

Rob Belous, Graduation Alliance team leader in Michigan, was a student who was on his way out the door when a high school teacher anchored him — keeping him on his path to a diploma.

He's been paying it forward ever since. He had a successful military career, and then started helping at-risk students in some of Detroit's toughest schools as a teacher and then an administrator.

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Graduation Alliance district adviser takes on grad fees

Doug BonnerCould graduation fees make some at-risk students think twice about whether they even want to earn their diploma? 
Absolutely, writes Graduation Alliance district adviser Doug Bonner in The Advertiser, a newspaper covering the Acadiana region on Louisiana. 
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No secret to this middle school's success — just "hard work, money and time"

They did it.

When a Decatur Township, Indianapolis, Ill. middle school’s leaders and staff decided they needed to make a commitment to increasing their students’ performance on statewide tests, they didn’t embrace a sweeping pedagogical transformation.

They didn’t follow a bold, charismatic leader.

They didn’t eliminate veteran teachers and replace them with enthusiastic rookie upstarts.

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Never give up? We'll see your Mark Wahlberg, and raise you Edith

One of the nation’s most famous high school dropouts, Mark Wahlberg, has finally earned his high school diploma at the age of 42.

Lots of people are saying that Wahlberg has set an example for students everywhere that its never too late to return to school.

Or, as Wahlberg himself put it: “Never give up. Keep believing in yourselves and don't make small plans."

Wahlberg’s right — people who want to return to school shouldn’t ever give up on that dream.

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