Graduation Pathways Project
The Graduation Pathways Project began in summer 2013 to widely engage education agencies, school leaders, and civic partners to act on a shared vision that every student – no matter how far off track he or she may be – has a path to graduation.
Under the banner of Raise DC, the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education (DME), the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), DC Public Schools (DCPS), the DC Public Charter School Board (PCSB) and individual public charters collaborated to produce the 2014 Graduation Pathways Report – DC's first detailed assessment of our citywide high school graduation rate. The report was released in September 2014 at the first Graduation Pathways Summit, catalyzing local systems-level and school-based leaders around a common set of data and focusing Raise DC’s current collective efforts to support school success in three critical areas:
Fortifying transitions from 8th through 9th grades: Through Raise DC’s 9th Grade Counts Network, partners have launched and scaled a cross-LEA Bridge to High School Data Exchange – a standardized process for ensuring essential early warning information is transferred quickly, automatically, and consistently as students enroll in 9th grade. Partners are also working together to improve school capacity to use and act on this data.
- Implementing more flexible and varied paths to graduation: Through Raise DC’s Disconnected Youth Change Network, stakeholders successfully advocated for and informed policy discussions around the development of a state-issued diploma for completers of the new and more rigorous GED. Raise DC partners are also exploring opportunities to maximize student access to credit recovery across the city.
- Developing an expanded set of options to better serve students who are "old and far" from graduation: In partnership with DME, OSSE, DCPS, PCSB, and individual charter schools, Raise DC conducted a Supply & Demand Gap Analysis to inform the strategic expansion of educational options for students who are severely off track or who have dropped out, specifically students who have low basic skills.
Underpinning these multiple efforts is stakeholder voice, which provides a critical lens to better understand local data and the opportunities for impact. Raise DC accomplishes this by:
- Integrating insights about student experiences in their own words
- Hosting an annual Graduation Pathways Summit to continuously provide a yearly touch point for schools, agency leaders, and nonprofit partners to share effective strategies, dig into new local research, reflect on progress, and define opportunities to ensure all students have paths to graduation.