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Civic Health Index 2021: Citizenship in Crisis

September 21, 2021

Since 2006, the National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC), Civic, and other partners have assembled top experts and institutions to release the Civic Health Index to better understand an array of civic health indicators that are measurable and movable.NCoC defines "civic health" as the way that communities are organized to define and address public problems. Previous reports sought to identify challenges of citizenship and community, including civic deserts, and those working to address them, including "Netizens," veterans, and millennials. Right now, the United States is facing some of the most significant challenges in its history. COVID-19 is reshaping institutions and civic life; the nation continues to reckon with its long history of systemic racism; and U.S. democracy is showing cracks.This report explores other important trends in civic health across four broad categories: political and civic engagement, group affiliation, social comity, and information and knowledge. Throughout, this report shares examples of individuals and institutions working in communities across the nation to expand civic life. In addition, strategies to increase civic engagement are featured.

National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development: A Policy Agenda in Support of How Learning Happens

January 1, 2019

Policy can play an essential role in moving efforts to support the whole learner from the periphery to the mainstream of American education, and from the realm of ideas to implementation. This document is rooted in the belief that policy should create enabling conditions for communities to implement locally crafted practices that drive more equitable outcomes by supporting each and every student's social, emotional, and academic development.

Hidden in Plain Sight: Homeless Students In America's Public Schools

June 13, 2016

Student homelessness is on the rise, with more than 1.3 million homeless students identified during the 2013-14 school year. This is a 7 percent increase from the previous year and more than double the number of homeless students in 2006-07. As high as these numbers seem, they are almost certainly undercounts.Despite increasing numbers, these students - as well as the school liaisons and state coordinators who support them - report that student homelessness remains an invisible and extremely disruptive problem.Students experiencing homelessness struggle to stay in school, to perform well, and to form meaningful connections with peers and adults. Ultimately, they are much more likely to fall off track and eventually drop out of school more often than their non-homeless peers.This study:provides an overview of existing research on homeless students,sheds light on the challenges homeless students face and the supports they say they need to succeed,reports on the challenges adults - local liaisons and state coordinators - face in trying to help homeless students, andrecommends changes in policy and practice at the school, community, state and national level to help homeless students get on a path to adult success.This is a critical and timely topic. The recent reauthorization of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) provides many new and stronger provisions for homeless students (effective Oct. 1, 2016); requires states, district and schools for the first time to report graduation rates for homeless students (effective beginning with the 2016-17 school year); and affirms the urgency and importance of dealing with homelessness so that all children can succeed.

2015 Building a Grad Nation Report: Progress and Challenge in Ending the High School Dropout Epidemic

May 12, 2015

This sixth annual report to the nation highlights the significant progress that has been made, but also the serious challenges that remain – closing gaping graduation gaps between various student populations; tackling the challenge in key states and school districts; and keeping the nation's focus on ensuring that all students – whom Robert Putnam calls "our kids" – have an equal chance at the American Dream

Building a Grad Nation: Progress and Challenge in Ending the High School Dropout Epidemic

February 1, 2013

This fourth annual update on America's high school dropout crisis shows that for the first time the nation is on track to meet the goal of a 90 percent high school graduation rate by the Class of 2020 -- if the pace of improvement from 2006 to 2010 is sustained over the next 10 years. The greatest gains have occurred for the students of color and low-income students most affected by the dropout crisis. Many schools, districts and states are making significant gains in boosting high school graduation rates and putting more students on a path to college and a successful career. This progress is often the result of having better data, an understanding of why and where students drop out, a heightened awareness of the consequences to individuals and the economy, a greater understanding of effective reforms and interventions, and real-world examples of progress and collaboration. These factors have contributed to a wider understanding that the dropout crisis is solvable.While progress is encouraging, a deeper look at the data reveals that gains in graduation rates and declines in dropout factory high schools occurred unevenly across states and subgroups of students (e.g. economically disadvantaged, African American, Hispanic, students with disabilities, and students with limited English proficiency). As a result, large "graduation gaps" remain in many states among students of different races, ethnicities, family incomes, disabilities and limited English proficiencies. To repeat the growth in graduation rates in the next ten years experienced in the second half of the last decade, and to ensure progress for all students, the nation must turn its attention to closing the graduation gap by accelerating progress for student subgroups most affected by the dropout crisis.This report outlines the progress made and the challenges that remain. Part 1: The Data analyzes the latest graduation rates and "dropout factory" trends at the state and national levels. Part 2: Progress and Challenge provides an update on the nation's shared efforts to implement the Civic Marshall Plan to reach the goal of at least a 90 percent high school graduation rate for the Class of 2020 and all classes that follow. Part 3: Paths Forward offers recommendations on how to accelerate our work and achieve our goals, with all students prepared for college and career. The report also offers "snapshots" within schools, communities, and organizations from Orlando to Oakland that are making substantial gains in boosting high school graduation rates.

Opportunity Road: The Promise and Challenge of America's Forgotten Youth

January 1, 2012

There are millions of youth ages 16 to 24 who are out of school and out of work. They cost the nation billions of dollars every year and over their lifetimes in lost productivity and increased social services. They also represent an opportunity for the nation to tap the talents of millions of potential leaders and productive workers at a time when America's skills gap is significant. The central message of this report is that while these youth face significant life challenges, most start out with big dreams and remain confident or hopeful that they can achieve their goals; most accept responsibility for their futures; and most are looking to reconnect to school, work and service. They point the way to how they can effectively reconnect to education, productive work and civic life. On behalf of Civic Enterprises and the America's Promise Alliance, Peter D. Hart Research Associates undertook a national cross-section of opportunity youth in 23 diverse locations across the United States in August 2011 to learn about common elements in their personal histories and their lives today, and to explore opportunities to reconnect them to work and school. At the time of the survey, respondents were ages 16 to 24, neither enrolled in school nor planning to enroll in the coming year, were not working, and had not completed a college degree. In addition, they were not disabled such as to prevent long-term employment, were not incarcerated, and were not a stay-at-home parent with a working spouse. What the authors found was both heartbreaking and uplifting, frustrating and hopeful. Despite many growing up in trying circumstances of little economic means and weak family and social supports, the youth they surveyed were optimistic about their futures. More than half believed they would graduate college when they were growing up and their hopes remain high that they will achieve the American Dream with a strong family life of their own and a good job one day. For this reason, the authors believe they are truly "opportunity youth"--both for their belief in themselves that must be nurtured and for the opportunity they hold for America.

All Volunteer Force: From Military to Civilian Service

November 11, 2009

Presents survey findings on the transition to civilian life of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and their willingness and capacity to serve their communities. Suggests national, state, and local actions to increase volunteer opportunities.

On the Front Lines of Schools: The Perspectives of Principals on the High School Dropout Problem

June 10, 2009

Explores teachers' and administrators' views on the causes of dropouts and support for reforms such as higher academic expectations, alternative learning environments, smaller classes, early detection, and better parental outreach. Makes recommendations.

The Quiet Crisis: The Impact of the Economic Downturn on the Nonprofit Sector

March 18, 2009

Highlights the economic downturn's impact on nonprofits. Calls for passage of the Serve America Act and targeted incentives to encourage giving, a capital fund to enhance effectiveness and capacity, and a role for nonprofits in solving the housing crisis.

Engaged for Success: Service-Learning as a Tool for High School Dropout Prevention

April 30, 2008

Outlines service-learning -- learning through investigating a community problem, planning a solution, taking action, and reflecting on results -- as a strategy to reduce dropouts, prepare students for college, and instill civic responsibility.

Achievement Trap: How America Is Failing Millions of High-Achieving Students From Lower-Income Families

September 1, 2007

Assesses the elementary school, high school, college, and graduate school experiences of students who score in the top 25 percent on national standardized tests and whose family incomes are below the national median.

The Silent Epidemic: Perspectives of High School Dropouts

March 1, 2006

Presents findings from a survey that examines why some students do not complete their high school education, and what academic and personal supports would have helped them stay in school. Includes recommendations for improving graduation rates.