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Double The Numbers

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Double The Numbers:
Increasing Postsecondary Credentials for Underrepresented Youth

Edited by Richard Kazis, Joel Vargas, and Nancy Hoffman

Only 25 percent of the U.S. high school students complete any college degree. Among African American youth, only 18 percent earn a baccalaureate by age twenty-nine. For Hispanic Americans, the figure is a mere 10 percent.

The United States urgently needs to address this problem. For reasons of intellectual and professional opportunity, economic efficiency, and social equity, the nation must do a better job of preparing young people not only to enter college, but also to earn credentials that are key to professional and economic success.

Double the Numbers highlights emerging strategies--at state, district, and school levels--for improving postsecondary outcomes. High schools pose special challenges in this regard: how to motivate older adolescents in school settings; how to overcome the rigidities of high school schedules and routines; how to prepare students for smooth transitions to postsecondary learning and success. This book explores policies that are likely to serve as building blocks in any "next phase" of education reform that tackles the dual problems of high school completion and postsecondary access and success.

The contributions from many of the leading figures in education reform, such as Kati Haycock, Robert Schwartz, and Marc Tucker, address these issues from a number of distinct perspectives. The authors propose changes in the designs fo high schools and colleges--innovations that could overcome the discontinuities, perverse incentives, and inflexibilities of existing educational institutions. They focus on state policy because to double the number of students attaining postsecondary credentials within a decade will require aggressive innovation by states. Finally, they consider how opportunities and outcomes vary by race, ethnicity, and gender, and they look at the implications of these variations for policy and practice.

"I am thrilled to have this work featured in SBAN. My Summerbridge/Breakthrough experience as a student, teacher, and director inspired my interest in increasing the college readiness and success of low-income students. That's what the policy strategies featured in these books are designed to do." - Joel Vargas

Joel Vargas

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