Whatever it Takes: How Twelve Communities Are Reconnecting Out-of-School Youth

April 5, 2006

America is in the midst of a "drop-out" crisis. Nationally, only about two-thirds of all students who enter 9th grade graduate with regular high school diplomas four years later. Rates vary widely across states, but on average, 72 percent of female students and 64 percent of male students graduated in 2001; the numbers for African American students is as low as 50 percent. Contrary to popular opinion, several studies show that young people who have dropped out do want to finish their degree. This new report from the American Youth Policy Forum looks at efforts across the country to reconnect out-of-school youth with educational and work opportunities. The report focuses on specific approaches in 12 communities, and looks at national models for reconnection.