They share an unfortunate bond—the principals and superintendents of schools and districts where unexpected gunfire shattered their peace and where the names of their schools and communities came to symbolize tragedy.
Columbine. Sandy Hook. And now Parkland.
For schools and district leaders in charge when the unthinkable happens, there is no playbook on how to pick up after the crime scene has been sanitized.
How do you balance attending funerals and consoling students, staff, and parents with trying to reopen a school building?
As a nation, it is critical that we prepare all students for success in college, careers, and in life. High school graduation is a vital point along that path, and the latest state-by-state graduation rates demonstrate our continued progress as a nation tackling this challenge.
This is the third year that states are using a common method, called the adjusted cohort graduation rate, to calculate four-year high school graduation rates. The new data, for the 2012-13 school year, indicate that 18 states have graduation rates at or above 85 percent, up from 16 states in the 2011-12 school year and nine in 2010-2011. This progress is a tribute to the tireless efforts of teachers, principals, parents, and other educators and staff, and of the students themselves. In this progress is consistent with the announcement this year that the nation’s overall graduation rate has hit 80 percent – the highest in our history.
It’s also worth noting the performance of individual states with the highest graduation rates, both for all their students and for traditionally underserved populations.
The White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (WHIHBCU) today announced its first class of HBCU All-Stars, recognizing 75 undergraduate, graduate and professional students for their accomplishments in academics, leadership and civic engagement. Currently enrolled at 62 HBCUs, the All-Stars were selected from 445 students who submitted completed applications that included a transcript, resume, essay and recommendation. The HBCU All-Stars will serve as ambassadors of the White House Initiative by providing outreach and communication with their fellow students about the value of education and the Initiative as a networking resource.
“Engaging with the next generation of leaders who will graduate from HBCUs and go on to make meaningful contributions to society is crucial to the success of our community, our country and our global competitiveness,” said George Cooper, executive director of the WHIHBCUs. “It is a privilege to announce these 75 students who have demonstrated a commitment to both their own academic achievement and making a difference in their communities, and we look forward to working with them as partners in advancing President Obama’s college completion goal.”