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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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Questions or comments? Send us a message now.

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

Migrant Students Claim Segregation, Discrimination at Dover City Schools

Friday, May 20, 2016 at 5:43 PM

[Updated 5/22/16 to add superintendent's statement]

by Michelle Faust

An Immigrant Rights advocacy group filed a class action federal Civil Rights lawsuit against a rural eastern Ohio school district Monday. The court documents allege the Dover City School District failed to educate and systematically discriminated against Latino students.

Senator Portman Says Obama Administration Overstepped with Bathroom Guidelines

Wednesday, May 18, 2016 at 5:09 PM

by Michelle Faust

The federal departments of Justice and Education released a memo last week recommending schools allow students to use bathroom facilities that match their gender identity. Ohio’s Republican Senator disagrees with the Obama administration’s approach.

While Ohio schools consider how they’ll respond to the federal guidelines, the junior U.S. Senator for Ohio, Rob Portman says the issue should not be taken up by the executive branch of government.

Lawmakers Jump Into Dispute Over School District Lines

Tuesday, May 17, 2016 at 4:13 PM

by Andy Chow

Lawmakers want to change the way the battles over school district borders are handled with a bill that had its first hearing in the House. 

There are areas of land that have been annexed by the city of Columbus, but the people in those areas still stay in the suburban school districts.

These are called win-win agreements, but if the suburbs ever wanted to call off those agreements then the city has the power to take those kids and put them into Columbus City Schools.

District and Union Say They'll Return to the Drawing Board for Contract

Monday, May 16, 2016 at 6:02 PM

by Michelle Faust

Cleveland schools and its teachers union are in the midst of negotiating a new contract.  But last week, both the Cleveland Metropolitan School District and the Cleveland Teachers Union rejected a report by a neutral fact-finder. 

The fact finder’s report was meant to provide new language that will help craft the teachers’ contracts.

Both the union and the district say the rejected report is a useful tool that gets them closer to a deal. 

Ohio names a new State Superintendent

Friday, May 13, 2016 at 8:30 pm
ideastream's State Impact Ohio reporter Michelle Faust introduces the new State Superintendent of Education

Teacher's Union Recommends New Path for State Education

Friday, May 13, 2016 at 2:20 PM

by Michelle Faust

The Ohio Education Association Commission on Student Success released a report last week recommending new policies for the state’s education system. The report was first presented to legislators and the State Board of Education on Wednesday.

“We wanted to lay out what a high-quality system—that’s well aligned, particularly related to student assessment, teacher quality and teacher evaluation, and school accountability and school improvement—looks like,” OEA Vice President Scott DiMauro summarizes the report’s recommendations

DeMaria Named New State Superintendent

Wednesday, May 11, 2016 at 6:56 PM

by Michelle Faust

The Ohio Board of Education unanimously voted Wednesday to hire a new Superintendent of Public Education.

Paolo DeMaria says his first task as superintendent is to listen to parents, teachers, principals, and the many people working in education in the state.

Colleges in Ohio Among Least Affordable, Study Finds

Friday, April 29, 2016 at 12:07 PM

by Michelle Faust

Ohio ranks 45th in the nation in terms of college affordability, according to a new study out of the University Of Pennsylvania.

The report defines “affordability” as the percent of a family’s income that’s spent on higher education costs.  

For an Ohio family with an annual income of $30,000, the study estimates the family would spend 81% of its income to attend a public research university, like Ohio State.  

Cleveland Connects: Moving Ohio's Quality Pre-K Program Forward

The Sound of Ideas
Tuesday, April 5, 2016 at 9:00 am
Excerpts from Cleveland Connects-First 2000 Days: Quality Pre-K forum and Ohio's new ranking system.

President Garfield Remembered; Kasich's Debate

Friday, January 29, 2016 at 8:30 pm
We preview a documentary on President James Garfield; and remember Akron native & Challenger astronaut Judy Resnik.