Our increasingly knowledge-driven world demands people who have the education and skills to thrive in a competitive marketplace, and to understand the increasingly complex world in which they live. That means that in order to compete and succeed, all young people will need an effective education that prepares them for work and life.

Increasingly, education through and beyond high school represent the only clear path to the achieve American Dream.   Already, the vast majority of jobs in the United States are available only to high school graduates. By 2020, nearly 90 percent of all jobs will require at least a high school diploma, and two-thirds of jobs will require some form of postsecondary education.

America’s Promise is focused on dramatically increasing high school graduation rates – our GradNation campaign.  A high school diploma is by no means a guarantee of success, but failure to complete high school is a devastatingly accurate predictor of lifelong struggle and unrealized human potential.     

To keep young Americans on track to attaining the education they will need throughout their lives, they need quality early childhood education, the ability to read at grade level at critical junctures such as the third grade, and an education that instills critical thinking and problem-solving skills, such as the college and career readiness standards. This preparation will make more of them college-ready, which is increasingly important each year. Two-thirds of all jobs will require some form of postsecondary education by the time today’s middle school students enter the job market. 

Clearly, a high school diploma is a crucial threshold that young Americans must cross if they want any real shot at prosperous, thriving adulthood. If birth is life’s starting line, then high school graduation is life’s second starting line for success.

 

Resources

July 27, 2017

Paper Thin? Why All High School Diplomas Are Not Created Equal provides a state-by-state analysis of the different types of diplomas that states awarded to the Class of 2014 and the impact on traditionally underserved students.

Source: Alliance for Excellent Education
Center for Promise Squared
May 11, 2017

Students whose First Language is Not English (FLNE) make up the fastest growing segment of public school students across the country. In Massachusetts, one in five students is classified as FLNE. This report explores their experiences, challenges, and hopes for the future.

Source: Center for Promise
May 03, 2017

Source: Civic EnterprisesEveryone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins UniversityAmerica's Promise AllianceAlliance for Excellent Education
April 17, 2017

How can we take what’s been learned and accelerate progress for young people in America, especially for those young people who are most vulnerable? How can we create the conditions for success for more young people, more quickly? To answer these questions, America’s Promise reviewed research about…

Source: America's Promise Alliance
Center for Promise Squared
March 30, 2017

While many young people in America continue to be bombarded by severe adversity, few receive the supports and resources they need to cope and succeed.

Source: Center for Promise
Center for Promise Squared
March 01, 2017

Two new reports explore how relationships impact young people at work and in life

Source: Center for PromiseCiti Foundation