Graduation for All

  • Today the BPS graduation rate is at the highest level it has ever been -- but we can do better than 65.9 percent. We want to ensure every student graduates from high school with the skills and knowledge to succeed in college or other post-secondary education. The initiative includes an unprecedented collection and analysis of student drop-out and graduation data in order to devise a citywide plan to ensure a 100% graduation rate. 


    Strategic Planning for Off-Track Youth  

    In partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Jobs for the Future, the school district commissioned The Parthenon Group to conduct an extensive study about Boston's off-track youth. The results of the 10-month study helped develop strategies for dropout prevention, intervention and recovery.
    The study revealed that there are four key risk factors that allow nearly three-quarters of likely dropouts to be identified no later than the end of the first year of high school:
    • Students with one or more 8th grade "risk factors": Students who can be identified based on having at least one of the following characteristics in 8th grade - (1) attendance rate below 80%, (2) two or more years overage relative to grade level, and/or (3) multiple 8th grade core course failures;
    • Students with multiple 9th grade core course failures: First-time 9th graders who fail one or more of the following core courses - English, Math, Science, History;
    • Substantially separate special education students: All students with a Substantially Separate SpEd designation at any point in grades 9-12, excluding students with severe disabilities who are not intended to receive a high school diploma; and
    • Late entrant ELL students: ELL (English Language Learner) students who enter BPS for the first time during high school.
    Together, these populations represented nearly 75% of students from the Class of 2004 who eventually dropped out of school. 

    Next Steps 

    The Acceleration Agenda outlines a variety of strategies to support the goal of ensuring every BPS student earns a high school diploma, including:
    • Credit Recovery sites after school and during the summer;
    • Additional supports for students in special education programs and English Language Learners;
    • An aligned pre-kindergarten through Grade 12 Literacy curriculum;
    • Improved coordination and delivery of student support services.

    Additional Resources