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Graduate Maryland is an initiative spearheaded by Advocates for Children and Youth that aims to tackle many of the causes of dropping out of school. Through our Graduate Maryland initiative, best practices are identified, policies are discussed and recommendations made to galvanize supporters to actively help more Maryland students earn their high school diploma.

While the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) and the local school systems are committed to helping more students reach graduation, their focus is often on the academic factors involved in long-term academic success. Major initiatives are under way improve standards, college and career readiness known and evaluate the performance of teachers. These initiatives may set us on a path to improving student achievement, however; these efforts do not address many of the reasons why a student decides to drop out. Although each individual student had the responsibility to meet graduation requirements, for some students there were often insurmountable obstacles that were beyond their control. In some cases, these students were not getting the support or additional care needed to be successful.

Our data gathering revealed the causes for dropping out. These causes were categorized into four major issue areas. These areas were (i) Prevention and Early Interventions, (ii) GED Preparation, (iii) Social Support Services and (iv)Alternative Programs and Approaches.Although these causes were identified, it would take a collaborative effort to affect change. Hence, the Graduate Maryland initiative was born. Graduate Maryland’s goal is to constantly engage state and local officials,school administrators, teachers, students, parents,researchers and support service providers to develop and implement policies to ensure that more students to get their high school certification or complete requirements for the General Education Development (GED) program.

ACY Media

You TubeCatherine E. Pugh, Maryland State Senator
You TubeSonia Socha, Executive Director of South Baltimore Learning Center
You TubeDr. Marvin Cheatham, Sr., former Political Action Chair, MD State Conference of NAACP Branches