"When I look at one of my Latinas, for example, I treat her as though she is going to be my… grandchild’s pediatrician, or when I look at one of our Black-American boys, I try and educate him as though he were going to be my city councilperson…I try to treat them as though they are going to be consequential people, and we work back from there. And I find that if you treat them like they actually have a future, they tend to have one."

Diego Little, instructor at Rainier Scholars, a year-round enrichment program that provides academic and emotional support to students from as early as fifth grade and until they graduate college.

How do you fix a failing school?

In some places, turning around a failing school means dismissing the principal and half the teaching staff. But in Baton Rogue, Louisiana, Broadmoor Middle School partnered with non-profit groups to provide onsite social workers and mentors, and track students before they drop out.

"We can really map where the schools and where the kids are," explained Diplomas Now founder Robert Balfanz of Johns Hopkins University. "It’s almost like insider trading for the social good."

"

We tend to underestimate the value of social capital in trying to assess equal opportunity. A high schooler with two college-educated parents may have very similar aptitude to a fellow student with one parent who finished the sixth grade. When it comes time to prepare for college and apply for admission, the educated parents can provide significantly more help with the hidden, inner game of transcript building, standardized tests, application essays, and school selection…

There is mutually assured damage from continuing the way we’ve been going. The United States needs those young people educated. And those young people need us, concerned adults ready to step out of their daily routine and intrude in the steady production of dropouts who go on to less promising adult lives. We can do better.

"

— Ray Suarez, Call is Out to Sabotage the Dropout Crisis

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan with 857 empty desks, which represents the number of dropouts every hour.
More on the high school dropout crisis. 

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan with 857 empty desks, which represents the number of dropouts every hour.

More on the high school dropout crisis

newshouramgrad:

Fighting Chance? School Violence Pushes Students Out

Students at John Hopkins Middle School in St. Petersburg, FL take an in-depth look at chronic fighting at their school.

“I do believe that schools are a microcosm of society, which means that if you put a school in the middle of a community, I can almost guarantee the things that are going on in that community will carry over into the school.” - Barry Brown, principal, John Hopkins Middle School

This video is part of our Student Reporting Labs program, which connects students with a network of public broadcasting mentors to produce original news reports for the PBS NewsHour Extra.

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 A high school diploma doesn’t mean what it used to Innovation Trail reports.

 A high school diploma doesn’t mean what it used to Innovation Trail reports.