American Graduate | NPR Special Series

Nevada Graduation Rates Drop Dramatically

Between 2002 and 2009 Nevada's graduation rate fell from 71 percent to 56 percent. That 15 percentage point drop is the worst among all states according to a new report from the national group, America's Promise Alliance. Learn more.


School's Out: America's Dropout Crisis

The following episodes on the dropout crisis in America, produced by NPR, provide insights into many of the challenges that will be addressed.

Why Dropout Data Can Be So Unreliable
July 28, 2011 | NPR · Accurate dropout figures are very hard to find because most states don't adequately collect or analyze the data. Part of the problem is that every state has had a different definition for dropout. Dropped out and then enrolled in a HSE program? Some states don't consider you a dropout.

A High School Dropout's Midlife Hardships
July 28, 2011 | NPR · In ninth grade, Kenny Buchanan dropped out of school. Now, 26 years later, his life is driven by the search for a permanent job that can support his family.

Despite Interventions, No-Show Students Drop Out
July 27, 2011 | NPR · Danny Lamont Jones (right) raised lots of red flags not long after he enrolled as an eighth-grader in a Baltimore school. He was quiet, struggling academically, and he didn't show up very often. It's unclear whether efforts to keep the 16-year-old in school will succeed.

Teen Fights To Succeed In Rural S.C. Community
July 26, 2011 | NPR · Nearly a third of students in rural areas don't graduate. In states like South Carolina, lots of teenagers just don't think they need a high school diploma. Nick Dunn, 16, is at risk of joining the ranks of dropouts. School administrators say he lives under "chaotic conditions" at home.

A Young Mom Resists A Cycle Of Failure
July 26, 2011 | NPR · Not a day goes by that Lauren Ortega doesn't regret quitting high school. Now, after having two children, the 20-year-old Californian is struggling to complete her HSE even as she and her boyfriend are barely able to make ends meet.

From Drug Dealing To Diploma, A Teen's Struggle
July 25, 2011 | NPR · Of all the problems this country faces in education, one of the most complicated, heart-wrenching and urgent is the dropout crisis. Nearly 1 million teenagers stop going to school every year. Patrick Lundvick, 19, had been hustling and involved with gangs on the streets of South Chicago for much of his life. After dropping out of school at 15, he spent time in jail. Now he's getting a second chance.

Series Overview: The Cost Of Dropping Out
July 24, 2011 | NPR · Nearly 1 million teenagers stop going to school every year. And the impact of that decision is lifelong and the statistics are stark. Dropouts are more likely to commit crimes, abuse drugs and alcohol, become teenage parents, live in poverty and commit suicide.

School Dropout Rates Add To Fiscal Burden

July 24, 2011 | NPR · Nearly 1 million kids who start high school every year don't make it to graduation. At a time when federal and state budgets are tight, dropouts costs taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars in lost revenue, health care, welfare and incarceration costs.

Learn More:

Phyllis James PSA

Phyllis James PSA

Contact Us

702.799.1010, Option 5​