About The GradNation Action Platform
The Moment for Action – Why an Action Platform Now?
The nation has made remarkable progress in supporting more young people to high school completion, but the GradNation goal of reaching a national 90 percent graduation rate by 2020 is currently at risk. Based on the committed action of practitioners, we have learned a lot about how states and communities are successfully supporting students to high school completion and have deepened our knowledge of the barriers young people face in reaching that milestone. With a 2016 on-time graduation rate of 84.1 percent, progress has been made and a continued urgent commitment is necessary to accelerate progress towards our goal of 90 percent by 2020.
The Next Phase of the GradNation Campaign
America’s Promise could not be more proud of the progress made toward raising graduation rates over the last several years. However, crossing the high school graduation stage is not the finish line, rather it is a crucial first step on the path to adult success. As the needs of the nation and economy have changed—and a high school diploma is no longer a ticket to the American dream—our efforts to becoming a GradNation must also evolve.
Any effort to impact high school graduation must be informed by the students who are not graduating or are at risk of not graduating and what they need. The next phase of the GradNation campaign is driven by what it will take to accelerate progress to achieve a national graduation rate of 90 percent. Getting from 84.1 to 90 percent requires a different approach than what the nation did to get from 78.2 percent in 2010 to 84.1 percent in 2016. Why? We have successfully standardized the data and achieved the quick wins.
The data shows us that to reach 90 percent, we must meet the needs of young people whose lives feature the greatest complexity through diverse systems and supports.
State and community leaders regularly demonstrate their commitment to improving outcomes for all young people. As America’s Promise takes a more focused approach to the GradNation campaign, we find ourselves drawing upon the hard work and success of practitioners and community leaders across the country. The GradNation Action Platform acknowledges and reflects their accomplishments and elevates them for others to learn from and replicate.
- Use quantitative and qualitative data to identify young people at risk of not graduating, those who have already left school, and to understand why.
- Elevate and disseminate the strategies demonstrated to increase graduation rates.
- Provide opportunities for practitioners and partners to engage on problems of practice and share best practices.
The GradNation Action Platform
The GradNation Action Platform identifies the six areas that every community should act on to accelerate the high school graduation rate. These are not one-shot, silver bullet focus areas. In fact, a comprehensive approach – one that addresses three to six of these platform areas – is probably required in most places.
We articulate these six platform areas based on the collective experience and expertise of individuals at organizations engaged with young people across the country, the experience of young people themselves, and our own research. The platform areas are a statement of best practice – they are what has been demonstrated to work to improve graduation outcomes for young people.