The Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University has announced a $3 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help school districts improve their high school graduation rates and college and career readiness efforts.
The grant will be used to develop College Readiness Indicator Systems that schools can use to identify students in danger of dropping out of high school or graduating unprepared for postsecondary education or a job. According to leading researchers, attendance patterns, course failures, suspensions, and other factors can be used to predict which students are on track to graduate and which are not.
The Annenberg Institute will select up to six school districts or networks nationwide to take part in the project. The sites will work with the institute and the John W. Gardner Center at Stanford University to expand and implement their early warning systems to focus on college and career readiness. The grant also will support semi-annual meetings among participants to encourage the frequent sharing of information and best practices.
"Ideally, high school completion and college readiness would be one and the same, but they aren't," said Ellen Foley, clinical assistant professor of education and principal associate at the Annenberg Institute. "That's what we're trying to address with this grant. We want to build similar systems that are just as practical and just as useful, but put the focus on college readiness."