American Graduate – Part 1

High school graduation rates have a direct link to the economy. By the latest calculation, dropouts from the class of 2008 will cost Ohio almost 9.8 billion in lost wages over their lifetimes.

A panel of community stakeholders analyzed the implications of dropping out and highlights local initiatives to help students finish school at a forum, “American Graduate.”

The panel consisted of:

  • James Moore III, Professor of Counseling Education at the Ohio State University and the Co-director of the AT&T Success Centers, which help high risk 9th graders at Linden McKinley and South High School in Columbus
  • Steve Votaw, the Executive Director of Learn4Life Columbus, which addresses nonacademic barriers to student success
  • Attorney Frederick Ransier III, who heads the advisory committee of the Near East Side Redevelopment Partnership that is working to revitalize the neighborhood surrounding University Hospital East
  • Barbara Siemer, the founder of the Siemer Institute for Family Stability, which helps families at risk of homelessness stay in their homes and keep kids in their current schools
  • Keith Bell, the Chief Academic Officer of Columbus City Schools.

American Graduate is part of a national initiative launched by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to improve high school graduation rates and help stop the damaging school trend of school dropouts estimated to be more than a million students a year.