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Grad Nation Community Summits Announced

In an effort to boost the number of Americans with high school diplomas and share best practices, America's Promise Alliance will hold 100 Grad Nation community summits over the next four years.

The announcement today included confirmed sites for some of the 2013 gatherings: Birmingham, Ala.; Jackson, Miss.; Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn.; Providence, R.I.; Toledo, Ohio; and Tucson, Ariz. Fifteen events are scheduled for this year.

These meetings follow a series of 105 dropout-prevention summits led by America's Promise between 2008 and 2010.

The Grad Nation Campaign was launched in 2010 with a goal of achieving a 90 percent graduation rate nationwide by 2020, with no high school graduating less than 80 percent of its students, and regaining the position as first in the world in college completion. Partners in the campaign are America's Promise Alliance, Civic Enterprises, and the Alliance for Excellent Education, among others.

In its latest update earlier this year, the Grad Nation Campaign reported that many states were on pace to meet the 90 percent goal by 2020 for the first time since the initiative began. It pointed to high school reforms paying off and progress being made at a time when standards increased in many states.

The Grad Nation summits will charge local leaders with developing a multiyear action plan and metrics to hold themselves accountable for progress. In the meetings, communities will be asked to identify their greatest challenges, the groups most affected, and possible solutions.

To increase the number of students graduating from high school, the Grad National Campaign has identified five resources needed: caring adults, safe places, a healthy start, an effective education, and opportunities to serve.

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