Communities In Schools (CIS), the nation’s largest and most effective dropout prevention organization, today released a statement in response to the Department of Education announcement that the national high school graduation rate has hit a new record high of 83.2 percent.
“Our country should take great pride in the rising high school graduation rate,” said Dale Erquiaga, incoming president and CEO of Communities In Schools. "It’s the result of the hard work of students and teachers who understand that a diploma is a ticket to better economic opportunities and a better life."
But we cannot ignore the graduation gap. Low-income students, students with disabilities, English language learners and students of color continue to graduate at much lower rates than their peers. Many of these students face barriers both inside and outside the classroom that make it impossible for them to focus in the classroom.
We must help these students overcome those challenges, by ensuring that they all have the basic necessities in life – like food, shelter, medical care and clothing – as well as extra academic supports to keep them in school and on the path to graduation.
As Communities In Schools prepares to enter its 40th year of providing these Integrated Student Supports, we call on educators, policymakers and our nonprofit partners in the field to join us in ensuring every child in America has the same opportunity to succeed in school and achieve in life”
Working directly in more than 2,350 schools in 25 states and the District of Columbia, Communities In Schools is the nation’s leading dropout prevention organization proven to keep students in school and on the path to graduation. For the 2016-2017 school year, Communities In Schools served nearly 1.6 million students and successfully helped 99 percent of our case-managed students stay in school.