With talk among educators and politicians revealing little likelihood for comprehensive federal reform of the nation's high schools, state governors are vowing to undertake the job themselves to improve student achievement and graduation rates and prepare graduates for college and the workplace.
The National Education Summit on High Schools, hosted in Washington, D.C., in February by the National Governors Association and Achieve, Inc., a bipartisan, nonprofit organization that helps states raise academic standards, released a road map (see sidebar below) for state leaders to follow to achieve the objectives, given declining performance and graduation levels.
Nearly one-third of all high school students fail to graduate and close to half of those who do graduate will lack the knowledge or skills they need for success in college, according to a recent report by the non-profit Manhattan Institute that the NGA cited.
Governors of 13 states, which together educate more than a third of all U.S. students, said they would aggressively pursue action through a new coalition, the American Diploma Project. States initially forming the coalition include Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and …