The Best of Our Knowledge
12:43 pm
Mon July 13, 2009

The Best of Our Knowledge # 982

Albany, NY –
"CITIES IN CRISIS 2009: CLOSING THE GRADUATION GAP", Pt. 2 of 2 -

Graduation rates have become a prominent feature in the landscape of high school reform, and within the larger world of educational policy.

Studies conducted over the past several years have repeatedly demonstrated that far fewer American students are completing high school with a diploma, than had previously been realized.

America's high schools have often been described as existing in a state of crisis.

As we learn in this report, that observation is particularly apt for the school systems serving the nation's very largest cities.

That's why many top educators are now calling the very large education gap between urban and suburban students, the "civil rights issue of our generation."

TBOOK speaks with the President and CEO of America's Promise Alliance, Marguerite Kondracke.

Glenn Busby reports. (8:03)

**(Attention Listeners and Program Directors. For those seeking additional information about the above story, their website is: www.americaspromise.org.)**

DROPOUT FACTORIES: PRESIDENT OBAMA AND SECRETARY DUNCAN -

Continuing now with our theme on dropouts and dropout factories all across America.

The condition of the nation's high schools stands as a central concern among both educators and policymakers.

The extent to which graduation has factored into recent debates over educational reform, the nation's economic vitality, and the direction of domestic public policy - attests to the issue's importance.

Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, highlights the need to turn around low performing schools as one of President Obama's key priorities. For example, he says "in approximately 2,000 high schools, 60% of the entering freshman class will drop out by the time they're supposed to be seniors." Secretary Duncan adds "that the collective loss of human potential and the long-term negative impact on our economy are both staggering." He pegs the cost to the country over the next decade at 3-trillion dollars.

Glenn Busby reports. (10:19)