Saturday was American Graduate Day, a public media effort to focus on improving the national high school graduation rate which currently sees about one in four students not finishing high school. There were features and a telethon on public television, a radio documentary, social media and web content, as well as outreach efforts to get more people involved.
Follow the Twitter hashtag #amgrad and check out the features below, including one that profiled a successful intervention model at a Bronx middle school, and first aired in July.
Former NPR correspondent Andrea Seabrook hosted this compelling compilation of first-hand accounts and reporting on the dropout crisis. Take a listen.
Public Broadcasting’s investigative reporting show FRONTLINE featured the work of Johns Hopkins University researcher Dr. Robert Balfanz who has uncovered a series of indicators that he says can predict how likely a student is to drop out of high school. Balfanz’s research says that in high-poverty schools, if a sixth grade child attends school less than 80 percent of the time, receives an unsatisfactory behavior grade in a core course, or fails math or English, there is a 75 percent chance that they will later drop out of high school — absent effective intervention.
This segment profiled middle schooler Omarina Cabrera from The New School for Leadership and Journalism I.S. 244 in the Bronx, the school’s principal Dolores Peterson, and the staff who are using an intervention method to catch struggling students early and help them overcome challenges that may lead them to drop out.
The ongoing initiative, called “American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen,” supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, includes more than 20 national partner organizations, celebrities and athletes. Viewers and listeners are encouraged to become an “American Graduate Champion” by offering their time, donating resources, connecting with the organizations on social media or learning more about the crisis.