Last week was a big week – for the Department, and for education reform as a whole.
Also last week, we announced two grants that I’m especially excited about: Smaller Learning Communitiesand the High School Graduation Initiative. Combined, the Department awarded nearly $100 million to improve academic performance and support dropout prevention and re-engagement efforts in states and districts across the country.
These important investments in secondary schools will help ensure that our middle and high school students are graduating, ready for college and a career. We’re focusing on reducing the dropout rate by supporting programs that aim to not just prevent dropouts, but also re-engage students that have already dropped out of school. Bringing those who have dropped out back into the education system will be a critically important part in our country meeting President Obama’s 2020 goal: that America will once again have the highest college completion rate in the world by the end of the decade.