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About Our Areas of Work
We organize our work into three areas to help low-income youth & adults:


Wednesday May 2, 2012
Education is hailed as the greatest equalizer in American society. The fact is for entire generations of Americans, access to good and meaningful educational opportunities has historically been a ticket to well-paying jobs, greater participation in civic life, strong families and communities, and for all of us a stronger and more prosperous United States of America. Yet for a large portion of African-Americans (males in particular), the promise of education as a way out of poverty into a productive life of work and active civic participation remains largely unfulfilled. The statistics are...
Tags: Dropout Recovery, State-Local K-12 Policy
Friday April 27, 2012
The following is a response to Learning Matters' forum question, "How do we best prevent dropouts?" Every year, another 1.2 million students drop out of high school. These students too often are concentrated in low-performing, high-poverty schools that fail to graduate them or prepare them for further education or careers. A growing number of educational innovators are developing new Back on Track Through College schools and programs that not only graduate off-track students and young people who have dropped out of school altogether, but help to put them on a pathway to postsecondary...
Tags: Dropout Recovery
Monday March 26, 2012
A recent NPR report has raised doubts about the value of a GED as an equivalent of a high school diploma and most importantly its value in the labor market. The report quotes a top lieutenant of the Los Angeles Unified School District saying: "If I were prepared today with a GED, and that's what I had as an 18-year-old, I'd be scared to death of the future." This view on the GED is not entirely new. We do know that study after study has shown GED graduates doing poorly once they transition to postsecondary education. A 2010 ACE report that tracked postsecondary outcomes of GED holders over a...
Tags: Dropout Recovery, Opportunity Youth
Thursday March 8, 2012
Mass. Voting to Increase Compulsory Attendance to Age 18
The Massachusetts legislature’s Education Committee has scheduled a vote for today on a bill that will raise the compulsory school attendance age to 18. President Obama proposed that all states enact this policy in his State of the Union address earlier this year, citing evidence that raising the age can lead to higher earnings and better lifetime outcomes. While I applaud Massachusetts’ commitment to ensuring that policies are in place that support student success, laws alone are not enough to create incentives for some students to stay in school, or for schools to keep students engaged and...
Tags: Dropout Recovery, State-Local K-12 Policy
Monday March 5, 2012
Last month I was at Camelot's Excel Academy South in Philadelphia, a school that demonstrates what teaching and learning should look like for our nation's off-track students. Excel South has helped its students make major academic gains, using Jobs for the Future's Common Instructional Framework to accelerate student learning. Now, JFF is working with Camelot to develop Excel South into a lab school that will demonstrate college-ready instructional practices to educators across the nation. JFF's CEO Marlene Seltzer and I joined Philadelphia's Mayor Michael Nutter and Camelot CEO Todd Bock...
Tags: Dropout Recovery, Opportunity Youth, Dual Enrollment, Early College