May 15, 2007
For immediate release
Dr. Russell Rumberger of UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz School takes part in national summit on the high school dropout crisis
Dr. Russell Rumberger, a professor at UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz School, was a panelist at the National Summit on America’s Silent Epidemic addressing the high school dropout crisis on May 9 in Washington, DC. This event, which also featured addresses by First Lady Laura Bush and Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, created an action agenda to keep students in school and on track for success. More than 500 superintendents, teachers, parents, students, state and federal policymakers, and other education and community leaders attended the summit where they exchanged ideas and will continue to be a part of the on-going effort to address this crisis. Lead sponsor the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was joined by sponsors the Case Foundation and the MCJ Foundation, and partners Civic Enterprises, MTV, the National Governors Association, and TIME Magazine in an effort to address the current situation in which nearly one out of every three public high school students drops out of school.
At the summit more than 100 organizations representing a broad spectrum of education and community stakeholders endorsed a 10-point plan that would raise state compulsory school age requirements, establish more challenging college and work preparatory learning in high schools, support parents' roles in keeping students in school, establish early warning systems to support struggling students and demand accurate graduation and dropout data. For further information about the plan, see the website http://www.silentepidemic.org/summit/index.htm
Dr. Rumberger took part in a panel chaired by E.J. Dionne, syndicated columnist based at the Washington Post, entitled “Drop Out Rates, Promises, and Promising Solutions.” Other speakers during the summit included members of a Youth Panel, moderator of Meet the Press Tim Russert, Joel Klein, Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education, Wendy Kopp, President of Teach for America, and Senator Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico.
Dr. Rumberger is Professor of Education at the Gevirtz School and Director of the UC Linguistic Minority Research Institute, a UC multi-campus research unit established in 1984 to foster interdisciplinary research and to improve academic achievement of children from diverse language backgrounds. A faculty member at UC Santa Barbara since 1987, Rumberger has published widely in several areas of education including on the high school dropout problem. He is currently directing the California Dropout Research Project, which will produce a series of reports and policy briefs about the dropout problem in California and a state policy agenda to improve California’s high school graduation rate.
[Russ Rumberger is available for interviews; contact George Yatchisin at 805 893 5789]
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