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There are lots of jobs out there. But are we helping students align their interests to their opportunities?

  • Danielle Stangler
  • March 7, 2019

Hundreds of job seekers participated in a construction trades job fair in West Virginia recently. Over in Michigan, more than 4,000 people swarmed a similar event. And in Ohio, one employer lamented than despite heavy interest from interested applicants “we’re dying for workers.” There’s a construction boom happening. Employers across the country are trying to

Give your hardest-to-serve students the wrap-around services they need

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  • March 5, 2019

A nexus of social-emotional challenges had already caused Li to drop out of school. To get him back on track for graduation, he was going to need more help — and a more individualized degree of help — than his school could offer. But Li knew — and his supporters knew – that he could

Being chronically absent doesn’t have to mean falling behind in school

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Have you experienced something similar at your school? Every teacher agreed that Joaquin was one of the brightest students in school. They also knew, however, that he wasn’t likely to graduate if he couldn’t get to school more often. Most of Joaquin’s teachers understood why he was missing class so much: With his mother working

Sick children shouldn’t have to suffer twice-over

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Know a student in your school like this? Kat certainly didn’t want to be missing school. But after frequent visits to the doctor and lots of medical tests — almost all of which caused her to miss classes or entire days of school — she had been diagnosed with a health condition that required even

A single-course setback didn’t push this student off-track

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Does this sound familiar? Danielle wasn’t “at-risk.” Not in the way most people currently think, at least. She was an A and B student, an athlete, and a member of student government. But in her junior year, she ran into a single subject that — for whatever reason — stopped her in her tracks. “Chemistry

Why every state needs to adopt a high school diploma program for adults

  • Danielle Stangler
  • February 28, 2019

More than 80 years after she left school to help her mother raise her siblings, a Michigan woman has been awarded her high school diploma. That’s the sort of feel-good story everybody loves. When 98-year-old Ruth Frezza finally received her diploma, after all, it was in a symbolic ceremony in a nursing home. And what

How to stop the heartbreaking cycle of intergenerational poverty

  • matthew laplante
  • February 21, 2019

Three years have past since Chico Harlan’s heartbreaking series in The Washington Post “A Region Left Behind” laid bare the crushing truth of poverty in the Deep South. In places like Drew, Mississippi, the chances of climbing out of poverty aren’t good — even for students who do manage to earn a high school diploma.

Moving forward: An example of the power of resiliency

  • matthew laplante
  • February 13, 2019

There isn’t a school district in the United States that isn’t doing something to serve students who need more than standard instruction. “There are trained special educators for students whose disabilities get in the way of their learning,” the editors of EdWeek noted Teaching Vulnerable Students “There are special programs for English-language learners, gifted-education services

Expectations meet reality with Graduation Alliance’s pay-as-you-go services

  • Danielle Stangler
  • February 7, 2019

Shortly after the beginning of this school year, we were at an education conference in Southern California, where an administrator from a mid-sized school district was sharing a common lament. “We don’t have any choice but to base what we offer this year on what we needed last year,” she said. “But we ended up

Tracking students who appear to have dropped out is vital

  • matthew laplante
  • February 5, 2019

Over the past decade, state legislatures looking for “easy wins” in the fight to keep students in school have passed compulsory attendance laws that have essentially made dropping out illegal. Few states, however, have provided schools with the resources they need to enforce these laws. In particular, most communities do not have the capacity to