American Graduate WHUT

About American Graduate WHUT

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), in partnership with America’s Promise Alliance and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has launched American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen — an initiative to help combat the dropout crisis in this country. Local public radio and television stations, located in 20 “hub markets” where the dropout crisis is most acute, are at the core of the American Graduate initiative.

The three public media stations in Washington, D.C. — WAMU, WETA, and WHUT — are working closely with youth development and community organizations, business groups, the public schools, advocacy groups, and others to build awareness about the dropout crisis, bring people together, and start turning things around.

Here’s what we’re doing in our community in 2012:

  • Hosting a D.C. Teacher Town Hall, where local teachers can discuss critical issues in their classrooms and schools
  • Developing and broadcasting local stories about the dropout crisis and prevention programs
  • Creating and broadcasting television spots and radio PSAs highlighting D.C. success stories
  • Providing digital media training for high school students
  • Showcasing youth voices from the WHUT Digital Media Arts Club, StoryCorpsU, and PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs
  • Developing a Gap Analysis of dropout prevention services
  • Building a searchable volunteer opportunities database for our community
  • Developing a library of classroom resources for teachers, focused on digital media training and YA literature
  • Providing professional development resources for teachers to help them better support struggling learners
  • Building an archive of news stories, reports, research, and toolkits on the dropout crisis and dropout prevention

About American Graduate

Welcome to the American Graduate Research Center, where you can find the latest and most accessible statistics and research on the high school dropout crisis.

**NEW – American Graduate Evaluation from the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University School of Education: The research finds that the American Graduate initiative has succeeded in building community capacity to meet the national priority of ending America’s high school dropout crisis.


  • For the first time, America is on track to meet the national goal of 90% graduation rate by 2020.grad-nation-report-cover-200
  • Even with these gains, America still loses about oneout of five young people to the dropout crisis each year.
  • Every year, nearly one million school-aged children in the US do not graduate high school with their peers.
  • There are 11 states in which the graduation rate for white students is 89% or higher, but no state where this is true for African American, Hispanic or economically disadvantaged students.
  • On average, the graduation rate among African-American and Hispanic students is less than 69%.
  • Raising the graduation rate in 2011 to 90% would have increased the GDP by $6.6 billion.
  • High school graduates are more likely to be employed, make higher taxable incomes, and generate jobs than those without a high school diploma.
  • Graduates are less likely to engage in criminal behavior or receive social services.
  • Read the full report: The 2013 Annual Update of Building a Grad Nation - provides an analysis of the latest graduation rate data and a comprehensive review on efforts to accelerate student achievement from across the nation.


Graduation Data by State

Two states have a 90 percent high school graduation rate. Eighteen states are on pace to reach this goal by 2020. Seven states need to further accelerate their progress to reach this goal, and 23 states are off-pace. Find out how your state is doing:



Grad-nation-community-guideThe Grad Nation Community Guidebook is a research-based toolkit for communities working to raise graduation rates and better support children and youth from birth through college. Created in collaboration with Civic Enterprises and the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Education, the Community Guidebook offers approaches and tools that all communities—regardless of their size, location and challenges—can incorporate at any stage in their work.

The Community 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.  It contains 16 tools to help communities  determine their actual graduation rate and dropout profile, 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.


Get Schooled Report: How is Technology Addressing the College Access Gap?

The Condition of College & Career Readiness 2013: First-Generation Students

Alliance for Excellent Education - Saving Futures, Saving Dollars: The Impact of Education on Crime Reduction and Earnings

Attendance Works Count Us In Toolkit Working together to show that every school day matters

Policy Brief: The Attendance Imperative - How states can advance achievement by reducing chronic absence

Feeder Pattern Guide from United Way - United Way Worldwide, Civic Enterprises, and Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University have developed a guide to help you and your community partners identify school feeder patterns – and help your community begin the critical discussion on using that data to boost graduation rates.

America’s Promise Alliance: Identifying Gaps and Opportunities in Financial Aid Services - Insights from a survey of America’s Promise Alliance partners

PBS LearningMedia Survey Finds Teachers are Embracing Digital Resources to Propel Student Learning- A national survey of pre-K-12 teachers that provides a current snapshotof how teachers are utilizing technology in America’s classrooms, the types of technology teachers have access to and their attitudes toward technology.

Civil Rights Data Collection- National data tool for analyzing equity
and educational opportunities. It reveals new truths about the journey America’s young people
take from pre- kindergarten through high school graduation.  Download the data summary here.

Middle school predictors of high school achievement in three California school districts.
Kurlaender, M., Reardon, S., & Jackson, J. (2008).
CDRP Report 13. Santa Barbara, CA: California Dropout Research Project.

What factors predict high school graduation in the Los Angeles Unified School District?
Silver, D., Saunders, M., & Zarate, E. (2008).
CDRP Report 14. Santa Barbara, CA: California Dropout Research Project.

Does poor health contribute to dropping out of high school?
Breslau, J. (2010). Santa Barbara, CA: California Dropout Research Project, University
of California, Santa Barbara.

Education pays 2010: The benefits of higher education for individuals and society.
Baum, S., Ma, J., & Payea (2010).
Washington, D.C.: College Board.

Why students drop out of school: A review of 25 years of research.
Rumberger, R. W. & Lim, S. A. (2008).
Santa Barbara, CA: California Dropout Research Project.

Dropping Out: Why Students Drop Out of School and What Can Be Done About It
Dropping Out offers a comprehensive overview by one of the country’s leading experts, and
provides answers to fundamental questions: Who drops out, and why? What happens to them
when they do? How can we prevent at-risk kids from short-circuiting their futures?