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About American Graduate WHUT

In Washington, DC graduation rates are 64%, with the biggest gaps existing for students of different races, ethnicities, family incomes, and disabilities.

WHUT is working with the Washington, DC community to increase understanding about the challenges for at-risk youth and work with a network of community partners to help develop and illuminate long-term solutions emphasizing the importance of a strong foundation in early education and the need for consistent caring adults.

WHUT was a part of the national American Graduate initiative in partnership with 33 other public media stations around the country.

Stations are highlighting local leaders who are helping communities increase graduation rates and the everyday heroes in a child’s life who are committed to improving education outcomes as “American Graduate Champions.” The initiative will feature new locally produced content alongside national productions and classroom resources – including PBS NewsHour’s new education desk, American Graduate Day, 180 Days: Hartsville, and the youth-driven spoken word contest RAISE UP!, along with PBS Learning Media and PBS Kids assets.

 “Education is a currency that is one of the key principles to economic empowerment. But all too often, those in the African American community and other communities of color find themselves with an account that reads insufficient funds when reaching for their currency of education. WHUT, along with Public Media, is dedicated to fill an account that Dr. King spoke about over fifty years ago. We are committed to educating our community NOW because it costs too much to wait.” – Jefferi Lee, General Manager, WHUT

With the success of the American Graduate Community Conversations, American Graduate Community Town Hall and support of local partners WHUT has built a strong foundation for ongoing action and long-term impact in the DC area. WHUT’s American Graduate partners include D.C. Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation, Girls Inc., DC Promise Neighborhood Initiative, Turning the Page, Concerned Black Men National, Capital Area Asset Builders, CentroNia and DC area schools.


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.

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.

  • Even with these gains, America still loses about one out 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.


The 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.



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.

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 snapshot of how teachers are utilizing technology in America’s classrooms, the types of technology teachers have access to and their attitudes toward technology.

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.

Connect with American Graduates across the U.S.

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Connect with different perspectives

The unique perspectives of those impacted by the dropout crisis are highlighted in these reports:

  • School counselors in Counseling at a Crossroad

  • School counselors in low-income schools in Accelerating Achievement

  • Teachers in Raising Their Voices

  • Teachers in The Missing Piece - a social and emotional learning report

  • CEOs and College Presidents Across the Great Divide

  • Opportunity Youth in Opportunity Road

  • Parents in One Dream, Two Realities

  • High school dropouts in The Silent Epidemic

Washington DC's Mayor - The honarable  Muriel Bowser Smiling


Photo From left, Magic Johnson, Patricia de Stacy Harrison, Dr. Angela Diaz, Alma Powell, Colin Powell, Brian Cornell and John Gomperts at the Promise Night Gala, April 20, 2016 (Credit: Michael Bennett Kress Photography)

Photo From left, Magic Johnson, Patricia de Stacy Harrison, Dr. Angela Diaz, Alma Powell, Colin Powell, Brian Cornell and John Gomperts at the Promise Night Gala, April 20, 2016 (Credit: Michael Bennett Kress Photography)

Leading Research About the Dropout Crisis

Building a Grad Nation: Progress and Challenge in Ending the Dropout Epidemic (April 2014)

To view full report, click here.


American Graduate Initiative Action Evaluation Report (October 2013)

To view full report, click here.


Don’t Call Them Dropouts: Understanding the Experiences of Young People who Leave High School before Graduation (May 2014)

To view full report, click here.


For the latest key findings in education, pertaining to the dropout crisis, visit the Civic Enterprises Educational Reports website.

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An American Graduate Champion commits their time, skills and resources to make sure that young people succeed. He or she is an individual who plays an active role in improving educational outcomes for students. A champion is a parent who is active in the lives of young people or a volunteer who creates a positive environment daily for youth in their community.


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