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”
Communities In Schools (CIS) is the nation’s largest organization dedicated to empowering at-risk students to stay in school and on a path to a brighter future. Working directly inside more than 2,300 schools across the country, we connect kids to caring adults and community resources designed to help them succeed. We do whatever it takes to ensure that all kids—regardless of the challenges they may face—have what they need to realize their potential.