Local Communities and Students in Crisis
One million kids drop out of high school every year, costing our nation more than $100 billion annually in lost wages and taxes, plus the increased social costs due to crime and healthcare.
Experts estimate that American businesses are in need of 97 million middle- and high-skill workers, yet only 45 million Americans possess the necessary education and skills to qualify for these positions. The majority of job openings in the next decade will require at least some postsecondary education.
Research shows that we can help keep students on the path to college and careers.
- Start with early reading
- Focus on middle grades
- Harness the power of nonprofits to provide expanded student supports
- Build early warning and intervention systems
- Create a multi-sector and community-based effort
- Elicit perspectives of students, educators, and parents
- Set high expectations and provide engaging coursework
Public Media Stations Respond
The American Graduate Initiative, made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), includes 68 public media stations in key dropout epicenters working with students, parents, teachers, mentors, volunteers and business leaders to help students stay on track to graduate. This extensive effort reaches 30 states as well as Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico.
Local Partnerships: Stations have engaged over 800 partners to mobilize community engagement and action.
Local Content: Stations have produced, aired and streamed local content and PSAs to increase awareness and understanding.
Local Forums: Stations are hosting teacher town halls, community forums and screenings, and business leader meetings, to generate dialogue on how to resolve the local dropout crisis.
Local Volunteerism: Stations are connecting mentors through internships, career fairs, and volunteer fairs with students in need to help keep them on the path to graduation.
Teacher Professional Development: Stations are empowering local teachers with professional development and digital classroom resources to help engage at-risk students.
Parental Connection: Stations are empowering parents with knowledge and tools to help keep their children on track to graduation.
Student Engagement: Stations are helping students to share their stories and develop new skills including digital media production, problem solving, collaboration, and critical thinking and analysis.
American Graduate is a united effort across the country and across public media. Through partnerships with national producers to increase understanding, and with national education partners to improve student engagement and achievement, public media strives to achieve meaningful impact in communities across the country.
TV and Radio Content
State of the Re:Union explores what makes schools across the country work, the game-changing role a good teacher, principal or coach can play in keeping a student in school, and examines education innovators tackling 21st Century challenges. State of the Re:Union paints a portrait of the education system we have now—and the people fighting to change it for the better.
American Graduate Day will be a multi-platform event featuring a live television broadcast from WNET New York Public Media, an American Graduate radio playlist from PRX with premiere documentaries, and participation from 20 national partner organizations to spotlight solutions to the nation's dropout crisis. Viewers and listeners will be encouraged to offer their time, donate resources, connect with the organizations on social media and learn more about the crisis.
NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday airs teacher impact stories as part of StoryCorps' National Teachers Initiative which calls public attention to the invaluable contributions teachers make to this nation, encourages teaching as a career choice, and unifies the country behind its teachers. StoryCorps will record and preserve the stories of more than 625 teachers across the nation in the 2011-2012 school year.
PBS NewsHour reports on the dropout crisis, including a piece featuring actor Denzel Washington, an outspoken advocate for at-risk youth and curbing the drop-out crisis. NewsHour anchors, including Gwen Ifill, Hari Sreenivasan and Ray Suarez have moderated Teacher Town Halls in many cities.
In The Middle School Moment, FRONTLINE will report on the growing body of evidence that suggests the make-or-break moment for high school dropouts may actually be in middle school. Dropout Nation, follows a group of students chronicling their struggles to stay in school and the challenges faced by teachers and administrators working against the odds to keep them there.
In and Out of the Classroom
The Ready To Learn partnership between CPB and PBS supported by the U.S. Department of Education creates effective, non-commercial STEM and literacy-based educational programming to help prepare kids for success in school. All content is guided by math and literacy curriculum skill frameworks based on Common Core standards, and is developed and created by the nation's most trusted educational advisors.
NewsHour Student Reporting Labs is an innovative journalism curriculum and online collaborative workspace to help students develop digital media, critical thinking and communication skills, while producing news reports with an emphasis on school completion for PBS NewsHour Extra.
PBS LearningMedia is an on-demand media service for educators that provides easy access to classroom-ready, curriculum-targeted, multi-platform resources. With thousands of curriculum and professional development resources from leading educational producers, PBS LearningMedia provides customized solutions to support classroom needs. www.pbslearningmedia.org
The StoryCorpsU College Readiness Curriculum is an interactive, standards-based program that uses StoryCorps content and interviewing techniques to enhance students' skills in the areas of speaking, listening, writing, and critical thinking, while also fostering their self-awareness and social awareness.