Updated Grad Nation Community Guidebook Released -- Provides Roadmap for Community Efforts to Increase High School Graduation Rates
May 16, 2013 – Civic Enterprises in partnership with America’s Promise Alliance and The Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University School of Education, released the newest version of the Community Guidebook, a research-based toolkit for communities working to raise graduation rates and better support children and youth from birth through college. The guidebook offers approaches and tools that all communities—regardless of their size, location and challenges—can incorporate at any stage in their work.
The guidebook compiles current research and outlines proven solutions and best practices including school and community interventions, for raising graduation rates. It provides a comprehensive framework to help communities design local dropout prevention efforts as well as 16 downloadable tools that communities can use immediately including tools to determine the actual graduation rate and dropout profile of the community, establish an early warning system and attendance tracker, analyze student and school performance and conduct an assessment of individual and organizational assets and the current policy landscape. The guidebook also includes links to other important and impactful resources that communities can use in their work.
The Community Guidebook is a free, entirely electronic resource available at guidebook.americaspromise.org.
Teachers Endorse Social and Emotional Learning as “The Missing Piece
” of Educational Puzzle In Civic Enterprises’ Newly Released Report
May 15, 2013 – Civic Enterprises releases the most comprehensive social and emotional (SEL) research report of late, The Missing Piece: A National Teacher Survey on How Social and Emotional Learning Can Empower Children and Transform Schools. The report, commissioned by CASEL, the Collaborative for Academic Social and Emotional Learning, is the centerpiece of an annual gathering of national education leaders, who convene today in Chicago to discuss the report’s implications and how to move forward based on its findings.
The Missing Piece shares the findings from a nationally representative sample of 605 educators from preschool through 12th grade. The survey reveals that teachers across America believe social and emotional learning is critical to student success in school, work, and life and that teachers think SEL can and should be taught to all students regardless of background and personal circumstances. To support the findings, the report also incorporates case studies of schools successfully implementing SEL, conversations with leading educational thinkers, and a review of SEL literature.
With the knowledge that teachers want and need social and emotional learning and strong examples of implementation in action, we must act to ensure that teachers are supported in this important work, and students are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need to be successful in school, work and life.
The full report can be found here and the official press release here.
Check out "The Missing Piece" in EdWeek and the Huffington Post!
Civic Enterprises' CEO Gets Published
John Bridgeland, Civic Enterprises' CEO, recently published his first book, Heart of the Nation: Volunteering and America's Civic Spirit. The book traces America's volunteer tradition- the golden thread of American democracy- and how Presidents from Washington to Obama have called on citizens to serve neighbor and nation. From the bunker below the White House on 9/11 to villages in Africa, John Bridgeland shares his own experiences inside and outside of government to spark more Americans to participate in service. He compellingly argues that such service is fundamental to our own happiness and to what the Founding Fathers envisioned when they talked about the "pursuit of Happiness" in the Declaration of Independence. Bridgeland helps the reader discover their own service mission and issues a rallying cry to the nation to heal our partisan divisions by joining together across party lines to address our toughest challenges. Heart of the Nation is being sold in bookstores as well as online
Hear John Bridgeland speak about his book and its message below:The Dove
Charlotte's Morning News with Don Russell
The Bill Martinez Show
WIOD News Radio
Count Us In! Launching Attendance Awareness Month Across the Nation WebinarTuesday, April 9, 2013
1:00 - 2:15pm Eastern Time
by Monday, April 8!
Back to school is a critical time for sending the message that attending school every day counts
during the school year. Join us in making this September Attendance Awareness Month in
communities throughout the nation. Attend this webinar to find out how YOU can get involved!
Chronic absence— missing 10% of the school year or just 2-3 days every month—can translate
into 3rd graders unable to master reading, 6th graders failing courses and eventually even 9th
graders dropping out of high school. The impact is the greatest on low-income students who lack
the resources to make up for the lost time in the classroom. Together we can help students and
families recognize how quickly absences add up to too much lost time in the classroom.
This webinar will highlight leaders in three cities – Baltimore, Los Angeles and New York – who
have rallied parents, schools, city agencies, nonprofits, businesses and elected officials in their
communities to promote and improve student attendance. They will share examples of how they
have improved attendance and have given thousands of students a greater opportunity to learn and
The webinar will also feature specific tactics, as well as a set of online resources, to help you reach
out to your community about Attendance Awareness Month, including ideas for special events,
contests, proclamations, sample news releases, public service announcements, flyers, videos and
more! Can we count on you to help?
Hedy Chang Director, Attendance Works
Debra Duardo Interim Executive Director, Student Health & Human Services, Los Angeles
Unified School District
Kimberly Manns Program Director, Baltimore Campaign for Grade-Level Reading
Peter Goldwasser Chief Program Officer, Office of Policy & Strategic Planning,Office of the
Mayor, City of New York
The proud organizing partners of Attendance Awareness Month include:Civic Enterprises
America’s Promise Alliance
Campaign for Grade-Level Reading
Points of Light Institute
For more information about Attendance Awareness Month and to sign up to receive emails about this
Building A Grad Nation: 2013 Annual Update Released2013 Building A Grad Nation Report
2013 Annual Update in the News
The nation’s work to improve graduation rates took a significant leap forward according to a report released today by Civic Enterprises partnership with Civic Enterprises, the Everyone Graduates Center, America’s Promise Allianceand the Alliance for Excellent Education. Civic Enterprises CEO, John Bridgeland, presented the report at the fourth Grad Nation Summit in Washington, D.C. to a crowd of nearly 1,000 leaders in business, education, academia, philanthropy, civic engagement, media and public policy. The annual reportfound that for the first time the U.S. is on track to meet the national Grad Nation goal of a 90 percent high school graduation rate by the class of 2020. The national high school graduation rate increased 6.5 percentage points since 2001 with an average growth of 1.25 percentage points each year from 2006-2010 to 78.2. As a result of this acceleration more than 200,000 additional students received diplomas in 2010 than in 2006. The report shows that two states, Wisconsin and Vermont, already have a graduation rate of 90 percent. Twenty states are on pace to reach 90 percent by 2020. Seven states need to accelerate progress, and 23 are off pace to reach the goal.
This growth in graduation rates was driven in large part by significant gains in Hispanic and African American graduation rates, with Hispanic rates achieving the greatest gains, jumping 10 percentage points from 61 percent in 2006 to 71.4 percent in 2010. Similarly, African American graduation rates rose from 59.2 percent in 2006 to 66.1 percent in 2010. The South also contributed to this accelerated pace, home to five of the top 10 states with the greatest improvements since 2006 but also the top seven states with the greatest decline in “dropout factory” high schools. There are 1.1 million fewer students attending these schools in 2011 than in 2002.
The report shows, while there is no one solution, the acceleration of graduation rate increases coincided with the onset of targeted education reform efforts in the mid 2000’s. During that time, active and sustained dropout prevention efforts in a few big cities began to spread more broadly while researchers, foundations, governors, policymakers, school districts, communities, businesses and others came together in an unprecedented mobilization around the dropout crisis. In addition, better data and its usage, combined with heightened awareness of the problem, its impact and solutions along with a renewed focus on high quality instruction, accountability, and alternative pathways to graduation became more main stream. A combination of all this resulted in increases in student and school achievement.
Check out the video that kicked off this years summit below!
Civic Enterprises CEO, John Bridgeland speaking at the 2013 Building a Grad Nation
Summit in Washington, D.C.
Ambassadors host Cocktail Gala in Support of EARTH University
February 13, 2013-
John Bridgeland kicked off the One Night, One EARTH cocktail gala at the Organization of American States, co-chaired by Ambassador Muni Figueres
of Costa Rica and Ambassador of Costa Rica to the OAS, Edgar Ugalde. The event was attended by nearly 300 guests, Ambassadors and
Representatives from a dozen Latin American and African countries, four
U.S. Senators and Members of Congress, and officials from U.S. AID and
NASA. EARTH University in Costa Rica offers a four year rigorous
undergraduate program in sustainable agriculture and natural resource
management that draws students from throughout Latin America, the
Caribbean and Africa. Civic Enterprises' Fellow Lily Rubino spent six
months organizing this event. To learn more about EARTH visit their website, here.
The Franklin Project, a new initiative at the Aspen Institute, held its
first meeting on November 30, bringing together a diverse mix of leaders
from national service, military, business, and philanthropic
organizations to marshal the best case for a voluntary civilian counterpart to military service in the United States. Inspired by General Stanley McChrystal's call for large-scale civilian
national service at the Aspen Ideas Festival last summer, more than 40
participants met for the day to discuss new ideas to expand national
service to be a civilian counterpart to military service. The meeting
was led by John Bridgeland, Alan Khazei, and Harris Wofford, and hosted
by Walter Isaacson and Elliot Gerson of the Aspen Institute.
Aspen Institute Launches the Franklin Project
believe engaging leaders in the military offers a fresh perspective,
together with leaders in business, nonprofits, faith-based institutions,
academia, and communities to support large-scale civilian service at a
time of national division when the entrepreneurial energy of citizens
must be harnessed to help solve our public problems and bring people of
different perspectives together. The project will have key
milestones, including a Civilian Service Summit on June 25, 2013 as the
signature lead-in event to the Aspen Ideas Festival from June 26-29.
Left to right: Steve Culbertson, Walter Isaacson, Sam Ayres, Martin Rodgers,
and John Bridgeland
Left to right: Walter Isaacson and Sam Ayres
Left to right: Fred Yang, Will Marshall, and Rob Gordon
Stan Litow addresses meeting participants
Left to right: Kirsten Lodal, Harris Wofford, and Carrie Hessler-Radelet
Left to right: Melody Barnes, Ken Harbaugh, and Steve Culbertson
Left to right: Phil Kaplan, General Stanley McChrystal, Sam Ayres,
Alan Khazei, Walter Isaacson, and John Bridgeland.
American Graduate is featuring Civic Enterprises as one of its Graduate Day Champions
-- organizations that spotlight solutions to the nation’s dropout crisis. Civic and other partner organizations are working with public media stations to help young people stay in school and on track for on-time graduation.
Breakfast With The Ambassador
EARTH University's President's
Advisory Board member, John
Bridgeland (fourth from right), met with Costa Rican Ambassador to the
Muni Figueres (second from left) in Washington DC in November 2012. Mr.
Bridgeland was joined by Former President of Costa Rica and Chair of the
Carbon War Room,
Jose Maria Figueres (far left), and President of EARTH University, Dr.
Jose Zaglul, (second from right). The briefing brought together key
representing nations from which EARTH students are drawn including
several Ambassadors from both Latin America and Africa, to share EARTH's
story and engage the countries' in EARTH's upcoming event in
Washington, D.C. Mr. Bridgeland is leading the effort to plan the
benefit gala, which will be held on February 13, 2013 at the
Organization of American States. To learn more about EARTH University
and their educational model see here
Building a Grad Nation: 2012 Annual Update Released
2012 Grad Nation Report
Grad Nation In the News
The nation continues to make progress to end the dropout crisis, according to a report released today by Civic Enterprises,
the Everyone Graduates Center, America’s Promise Alliance and the Alliance for Excellent Education. The 2012 Annual Update
of Building a Grad Nation: Progress and Challenge in Ending the Dropout Epidemic report was release Monday, March 19 in conjunction
with the Building a Grad Nation Summit held in Washington DC.