Since the 2010 launch of the GradNation campaign, America’s Promise has brought energy and focus to the national graduation rate challenge through research and data analysis, community-level investments, and convenings at the national, state, and local levels. In 2016, the campaign had reached a pivotal moment. Given the slowing pace of progress, a changing educational context, and new pressures on young people. America’s Promise determined that the next phase of the campaign required a focused and directive approach. Our approach is anchored in four critical components to contribute to the national movement to improve youth outcomes, the high school experience, and graduation rates. The campaign’s learning opportunities, online community communications, and convenings are driven by this approach.

  • GradNation Action Platform

    Action PlatformThe GradNation Action Platform identifies the six areas that every community should act on to accelerate high school graduation rate improvements. 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. The platform is 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.


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  • Initiatives

    InitiativesThe GradNation Campaign’s initiatives are anchored in the belief that change happens at the state and local level. Through strategic investments, the Campaign supports community and statewide efforts to accelerate improvement in the graduation rate. From these sites, we intentionally elevate practices and partnerships in a way that authentically reflects school-level experiences and realities. In doing so, we seek to inform the efforts of national organizations working on the policy, practices, and systems to improve outcomes for youth.


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  • GradNation Core Partners

    gradnationAmerica’s Promise created the GradNation Core Partner group to generate dialogue on timely issues from national organizations who work at the community, state, and federal levels. The GradNation Core Partner group consists of about 14 organizations. This group meets bi-annually to increase connectivity and alignment on current policy, practice, and data issues impacting graduation rates and high school educational practice. Given their significant reach, the Core Partners offer critical advice and counsel on each plank of the GradNation Action Platform. We also challenge the group to address underlying questions that, if answered, would help all students reach the graduation milestone prepared for life after high school.

  • Research and Data Analysis

    The GradNation campaign conducts research and data analysis to bring attention to the practices, emerging issues, and data impacting youth outcomes. Together, the Center for Promise, Civic, the Everyone Graduates Center, and the Alliance for Excellent Education have grown a body of work that includes analysis of low graduation rate high schools, youth perspectives on exclusionary discipline practices, and the rigor of high school diplomas, among countless other topics.

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