To Reduce Dropouts, Obama proposes $900M for schools

Carol’s summary:

In spite of our country’s relative affluence worldwide, only about 70% of entering freshmen finish high school, and the numbers are even worse for African-American and Latino students, with only a 50-50 chance that they’ll graduate on time.  Big city schools fare worst:  Fourteen urban school districts have on-time graduation rates lower than 50%; they include Detroit, Baltimore, New York, Milwaukee, Cleveland, Los Angeles, Miami, Dallas, Denver and Houston, and compared to other developed countries, the United States ranks 13th among 20 members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Last year, 16 percent of all public high-school students left the system, up from 9.3 percent in 2006 (a 6.7 percent increase). Source: U.S. Department of Education.

This week President Barack Obama proposed $900 million in “School Turnaround Grants” at the nation’s 5,000 lowest performing schools over the next five years.  If we are to remain competitive relative to the new global competition for talent, schools and districts must commit to strategies that help students persist with their educational goals.  Some of the attitudes and behaviors that result in low achievement start all the way back in elementary school, and LifeBound offers programs starting in fifth grade. Specific to high school, schools need to adopt student success and transition programs designed to help students get off to the strongest start possible. The new second edition of our book for 9th graders, MAKING THE MOST OF HIGH SCHOOL: Success Secrets for Freshmen, which is coming out in April of 2010, includes the following features:

  • Exercises on financial literacy in every chapter
  • Two new chapters are devoted to financial literacy and technology
  • An 8-year academic plan for students that covers high school and college
  • End of chapter exercises that that promote critical and creative thinking and ACT/SAT preparation
  • A fully updated Appendices on activities for students both in high school and outside of high school to develop their leadership skills.

To reserve a copy of our new updated book for freshmen success, or any of our other resources, call us toll free at 1.877.737.8510 or email

How can we build better early-warning systems for struggling students?How can we effectively use the data to transform learning and reduce the drop out rate?

How can we connect classroom learning with real-world experiences to motivate more students to finish high school?


USA Today

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama on Monday addressed the nation’s school dropout epidemic, proposing $900 million to states and school districts that agree to drastically change or even shutter their worst performing schools.


Obama’s move comes as many schools continue to struggle to get children to graduation, a profound problem in a rich, powerful nation. Only about 70% of entering high school freshmen go on to graduate. The problem affects blacks and Latinos at particularly high rates.

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