Minnesota: Minnesota Alliance With Youth

About Minnesota Alliance With Youth: GradMinnesota


GradMinnesotaThe high school graduation rate in Minnesota improved last year to 81 percent, with steady gains in struggling metropolitan districts and significant improvement among students of color. Yet, one of the largest achievement gaps in the nation still remains. For example, while 81 percent of all Minnesota students graduated on time in 2014, only 66 percent of low-income students graduated with their peers. With support from America’s Promise Alliance and Pearson, Minnesota Alliance With Youth (“the Alliance”) will be positioned to catalyze action to close the achievement gap and reach a 90 percent graduation rate by 2020.

One of the Alliance’s key initiatives, GradMinnesota, is a statewide coalition in partnership with the Governor’s office and the Minnesota Department of Education. GradMinnesota connects individuals and communities to engage stakeholders at all levels to ensure that all young people in Minnesota will graduate from high school prepared for success in postsecondary opportunity, work, civic engagement, and life. The GradMinnesota coalition—youth, communities, schools, government agencies, businesses and families—has developed seven priority recommendations and goals to increase graduation rates including: creating and aligning services to recover and re-engage youth; replacing exclusionary discipline policies and practices with more effective alternatives; and increasing opportunities for mentoring throughout the state. Through public awareness, legislative advocacy, knowledge sharing, and collective impact, GradMinnesota will mobilize stakeholders throughout the state to implement these recommendations.

More News from Minnesota

“If the success of our efforts is tracked by numbers, we have lost the point completely and our children feel it. Before data, graphs, and systems there were relationships and community.” Alexis Goffe, GradMinnesota Director for Minnesota Alliance with Youth, learned this lesson when a student confided that some teachers seemed to care more about tracking attendance than the actual student. America’s Promise asked Goffe about his state’s effort to create a GradNation for all young people and the important role of caring adult relationships in this work. Here are his answers.
January is National Mentoring Month, and to celebrate, we asked one young person to reflect on what having a mentor means to her. For more stories and information about the importance of mentors, check out Five Ways to Get Involved with National Mentoring Month.
The summit, which was convened by the Northfield Healthy Community Initiative, continued in that spirit of thinking through responsibility, relationships, and action steps, as the Northfield community examines how to better align its various stakeholders and interests in the common goal of seeing improved outcomes for young people.
Can collective impact raise graduation rates? That’s the question representatives from two nonprofits, a government agency, and the private sector explored at this summer’s National Forum on Education Policy.