October 26, 2016   School Closings
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American Graduate

Become an American Graduate Champion

Become an American Graduate Champion

An American Graduate Champion commits their time, skills and resources to make sure that young people succeed. He or she is an individual who plays an active role in improving educational outcomes for students. A champion is a parent who is active in the lives of young people or a volunteer who creates a positive environment daily for youth in their community.

Make the commitment to help all young people succeed by becoming or recognizing an American Graduate Champion. Recognize yourself or someone else online now.


Today’s global economy demands a more educated workforce. Communities are working together to improve 21st century learning and increase high school graduation rates to prepare more students for college and successful careers. Public media stations across the country are at the center of this community-based work — from quality content and forums to local partnerships and classroom resources — to increase understanding and access to solutions.

Download the American Graduate Fact Sheet

American Graduate: Let’s Make it Happen is a long term public media commitment, supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), to help communities implement solutions to the high school dropout crisis. Public media plays a significant role building individual activity, community capacity, and national awareness.

The dropout crisis demands attention now, and we are rising to the challenge of doing our part to address this problem. A new study conducted by the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins School of Education finds that the American Graduate initiative has succeeded in building community capacity to meet the national priority of ending America’s high school dropout crisis.

Working with Alma and Colin Powell’s America’s Promise Alliance, Civic Enterprises, Johns Hopkins Everyone Graduates Center, and The Alliance for Excellent Education, and over 1000 local partners, the initiative puts faces on the numbers and increases understanding of the risks and solutions through national and local content, covering all facets of the issue for broadcast, web and  mobile platforms. In addition, American Graduate is engaging and empowering teachers, parents and students to help those most at risk of dropping out through community collaborations and classroom resources.

More than 80 public radio and television stations in over 30 states have joined forces with over 1000 partners and at-risk schools to shed light on the problem and share solutions. Through American Graduate: Let’s Make it Happen, public media is increasing national and local reporting, convening diverse local stakeholders, and providing access to free, digital classroom resources for teachers and parents. By working with the community, public broadcasting stations are increasing the footprint of progress, reaching more children and families to seed the foundation for a prosperous economic future for our country.

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Local Partners

Broadway P16 Council/Slavic Village Development Corporation
Cleveland Metropolitan School District
College Now
Cuyahoga Community College
Neighborhood Connections
Neighborhood Leadership Institute
Third Federal Foundation

Recent Entries

Fewers Tests, Better Culture: Ohioans Chime In About New School Standards

Tuesday, October 18, 2016 at 1:57 PM

by Michelle Faust
(Ohio Public Radio Reporters Kabir Batia and Jerry Kenney contributed to this story.)

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is the new federal education law that replaces No Child Left Behind. The legislation gives states their own say in how they implement ESSA with input from their communities. The Ohio Department of Education recently held 10 stakeholder meetings across the state to get the public’s views on education.

No Charter Sponsors Received Ohio's Highest Rating

Thursday, October 13, 2016 at 4:27 PM

The Ohio Department of Education released community school sponsor evaluations Thursday. None of the state’s charter school sponsors received the highest rating of “exemplary.”

ODE looks at factors such as school performance, as well as “quality practices,” like whether they train teachers and have a clear mission.

Five out of 65 of the state’s charter school sponsors were rated effective.

151 Ballot Issues to Fund Local School Districts in Ohio

Wednesday, October 5, 2016 at 11:49 PM

by Michelle Faust

Throughout Ohio, there are 151 levies, bonds and income tax measures on the November ballot intended to benefit local school districts. About half of these are renewals, but the remainder include requests for new or additional funds for these districts.

Forty-three of the districts in the state are requesting funding to cover their current operating expenses. The Cleveland Metropolitan School District is one of those requesting a renewal of a levy to cover its current costs of doing business.

Listen: Sound of Ideas: Should High-Schoolers Work as Part of Their Schooling?

Tuesday, October 4, 2016 at 4:06 PM

Training the work force employees of the future while they are still in high school?  The Cristo Rey network of schools, including three here in Ohio, have embraced that concept as part of a work-school model that has caught the attention of Governor John Kasich.  Listen here.

Governor Kasich Wants High School Work-Study Programs

Wednesday, September 28, 2016 at 9:34 AM

by Mark Urycki

Governor Kasich wants Ohio students to get some work experience while still in high school.  Speaking at a conference in Cleveland Tuesday Kasich questioned whether schools are training kids for 21st century jobs.

Senator Defends Education Department's ECOT Attendance Report

Tuesday, September 27, 2016 at 4:17 PM

by Andy Chow

The state’s largest online charter school is crying foul after the education department released a report showing it fell short of its estimated attendance by more than 50%. But a top education lawmaker says Ohio taxpayers deserve to know what their money is going towards. 

A review of the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow found that more than half of the students enrolled in the school didn’t do enough work to qualify as full time.

State Finds ECOT Attendance Was Much Lower Than Expected

Monday, September 26, 2016 at 5:44 PM

by Andy Chow

The state education department says Ohio's largest online charter school severely over-reported how many students actually attended class full time. But the school says the state's report is a slap in the face to a pending court battle.

The state says only 40% of the more than 15,000 students enrolled at the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow spent enough time learning during the day to qualify as full-time students. 

Senate Education Committee Reconvenes Tuesday

Monday, September 26, 2016 at 5:26 PM

by Michelle Faust

Although the Lame Duck Legislative Session doesn’t begin until after the November election, the Ohio Senate Education Committee is scheduled to reconvene Tuesday. 

Education Committee Chair Peggy Lehner says a truancy bill is her highest priority.  The Senate Republican from Kettering says the legislation requires schools to look at why students skip class instead of resorting to suspensions.

"To start looking at truancy as a social-emotional issue, as opposed to a judicial-issue."

CTU Membership Votes Down Tentative Agreement with Cleveland Schools

Monday, September 26, 2016 at 1:39 PM

by Michelle Faust

The Cleveland Teachers Union goes back to the drawing board, after a Thursday vote tally showed members rejected a tentative contract with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.

Fifty-one percent of union members voted down the tentative agreement.

CTU President David Quolke says he has a few ideas as to why members defeated the contract by a narrow margin.

Districts in Poverty Have Lowest Report Card Grades, New Federal Law Aims to Track Progress

Monday, September 26, 2016 at 12:21 PM

by Michelle Faust

When report cards came out recently, it was not without controversy.

Districts did worse than last year because the tests and the expectations changed. It was harder to get a passing grade.

“But the report card is important. It tells us useful information and we can't just ignore it in this state,” says Howard Fleeter, an economist who consults for the non-profit Ohio Education Policy Institute. “As we raise the bar, we're increasing the challenge disproportionately for districts that are struggling the most.”