American Graduate Joins National Leaders at White House Summit on Next Generation High Schools

For more information, contact:
Lisa Goss, Communications Specialist, 216/916-6134

November 10, 2015 (Cleveland, OH) – Responding to President Obama’s call in this year’s State of the Union Address to reinvent American high schools to allow more students to seize opportunities in today’s economy, public media’s American Graduate initiative will participate today in Washington, D.C., in the first-ever White House Summit on Next Generation High Schools.

The Summit is convening students, educators, philanthropists and entrepreneurs from across the country who will identify ways in which American high schools can promote personalized learning, work-based learning experiences and deeper ties to post-secondary programs, as well as include a focus on expanding science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) opportunities for girls and other groups of students who are underrepresented in these high-growth, well-paying fields.

Heeding the Summit’s call to action, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting will, through American Graduate, support stories for broadcast about new approaches to high school education across the country. Local stations, including WVIZ/PBS, will host community conversations and will provide PBS Learning Media resources to educators for use in their classrooms. Students could create digital content, such as news reports, for programs like the PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs.

“Organized around American Graduate, a diverse range of public media colleagues and other partners across the country have, for several years, been building a national movement committed to improving youth outcomes,” said Linda Williams, Ph.D., senior director, WVIZ/PBS ideastream Education. “The Summit offers American Graduate an opportunity to expand and energize that movement, putting the U.S. on a path to achieve a 90 percent graduation rate by 2020.”

Indeed, for many years, American Graduate has been showcasing ways in which high schools can prepare more of youth for success in the 21st-century workplace. In the last year and a half alone, public media stations participating in American Graduate have:

  • Shared more than 38 million resources on air, online and in the community.
  • Created positive opportunities to celebrate American Graduate Champions—caring, consistent adults in the lives of young people—celebrating more than 8,000 American Graduate Champions.
  • Broadcast nearly 12,000 hours of content and engaged 432,088 community members in 3,281 community gatherings and events, helping communities seek solutions associated with increasing the graduation rate. 
  • Deployed digital platforms to spotlight relevant issues around the dropout crisis, achieving more than 7 million web views. Twitter chats, infographics, social media campaigns and more have played a critical role in encouraging communities to discuss and act on improving youth outcomes, with nearly 24,000 Tweets and Facebook posts.

And, the WVIZ/PBS American Graduate initiative has included a variety of programs and projects, such as…

  • An Early Childhood Symposium, in collaboration with PNC, which included a keynote address by Bill Isler, CEO of The Fred Rogers Company;
  • An American Graduate Storytelling Contest, in partnership with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District Attendance Campaign; and
  • A WVIZ/PBS ideastream Education dropout-prevention conference, attended by more than 100 Slavic Village 8th graders, where recent high school graduates inspired the younger students to continue their education.

About American Graduate
American Graduate is public media’s long-term commitment to supporting community-based solutions to the dropout crisis. Supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), more than 100 public radio and television stations have joined forces with more than 980 partners and at-risk schools across 40 states. 

About ideastream
The mission of ideastream is to strengthen our communities. ideastream pursues this mission as a multiple media public service organization by providing distinctive, thought-provoking programs and services that enlighten, inspire, educate and entertain.



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