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No Excuse Policies

When talking about education, especially rural education,  the elephant in the room is often whether we actually believe that it is possible to have really high performing schools for kids that aren't growing up with a lot of wealth.  Case studies about schools that are able to do it can be inspiring, re-affirming, and make us more determined to make it happen in our own community.

Here is a great case study by Ed Trust on Granger High School  in a rural community in Washington.

It tells the story about how Granger High was able to dramatically improve student achievement, including getting nearly 100% parent engagement. According to the study, " one-third of Granger High School’s 330 or so students are the children of migrant agricultural workers, but most of the permanent families are agricultural workers who have settled in the Yakima Valley to pick and sort apples and other crops. About 82 percent are Latino, 6 percent are American Indian, and the rest White. Almost all the students—84 percent—are eligible for free or reduced-price meals."

With a "no excuse policy", graduation rates at Granger increased from 59% to 77% with an extended grad rate of 86%.

This is a great case study to bring to your school board and ask what would it take to make this happen here.

 __________About the Author__________

Chris Sturgis is a founding member of the Learning Alliance.  She is Principal of MetisNet, a consulting firm that specializes in supporting foundations and special initiatives in strategy development, coaching and rapid research.  In addition to the Learning Alliance, she is involved with CompetencyWorks and the Youth Transition Funders Group, managing the Connected by 25 blog.

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This post does not represent the views of the Learning Alliance or any of its partner organizations.