Bob Wise
, President, Alliance for Excellent Education
Mike Fernandez, Vice President, Corporate Communications and External Relations, State Farm®
Michael Wotorson, Executive Director, Campaign for High School Equity
(additional speakers to be announced)

Years of data have consistently underscored the persistent graduation gap between America’s students of color and their peers. The most recent estimate shows that high school graduation rates for African American, Latino, and American Indian students hover only slightly higher than 50 percent. This is more than 20 percentage points lower than that of their white peers.

In addition to the moral imperative to provide every student with an equal opportunity to pursue the American dream, there is also a strong economic argument for helping more students of color graduate from high school. Lowering the dropout rate brings a range of benefits to a community, many of which most people do not realize. Graduating more students from high school can have a profound impact on increased earnings potential, home and auto sales, and other important economic indicators for communities and states.

Earlier this year, the Alliance for Excellent Education documented the benefits of reducing the dropout rate for all students in the nation’s largest metropolitan areas. Building on this work, it is now able to estimate the economic benefits of reducing the dropout rate among students of color in these metro areas. On July 7, 2010, the Alliance for Excellent Education and the Campaign for High School Equity will host a live webinar to release these new findings and to discuss the challenges of improving high school graduation rates among students of color and what doing so could mean for local communities, as well as the students themselves.

Following the discussion, panelists will take questions from online participants.

To register for the webinar and submit questions for the panelists to address during the question and answer period, go to

To see the above-mentioned report, along with findings for additional cities not included in the report, click on this link: The Economic Benefits of Reducing the Dropout Rate in the Nation’s Largest Metropolitan Areas

Please direct questions concerning the webinar to



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