Identifying and helping students at risk of not graduating, increasing and coordinating school district and community resources, and introducing multiple pathways to graduation are the results of Learning to Finish, according to a new report released today.
The report, "Learning to Collaborate," summarized the work of Learning to Finish, a community partnership that began five years ago. The partnership was led by The Community Foundation in Jacksonville, Duval County Public Schools, the Jacksonville Children's Commission, the Jacksonville Public Education Fund and United Way of Northeast Florida.
"Learning to Finish demonstrates without a doubt how much more we can do for kids when we work together," said Superintendent Ed Pratt-Dannals, who presented the results this morning at Eugene Butler Middle School.
Duval County has dramatically improved its graduation rate over the last five years, up 11 percentage points to 71.2 percent in 2011. In addition, the number of students who are more than one year overage for their grade has decreased from 7.4 percent in 2007 to 5.7 percent in 2012, representing an increase of 3,000 students back on track to on-time graduation. In addition, support services provided by multiple community organizations - such as mentoring, student advocacy and after-school programs - have worked in concert with the schools like never before to strengthen the safety net for students at risk.
Today, the Learning to Finish partnership has brought about lasting systemic change and has set the stage for deeper collaboration to continue to improve public education in Duval County.