CLASP's youth policy work aims to advance policy and practice that will dramatically improve the education, employment, and life outcomes for youth in communities of high youth distress. Learn more>>

Pathways to Reconnection for Disconnected Youth

We advocate for federal policies that meet the education and training needs of the millions of young people ages 16 to 24 who are disconnected from school and employment.  Read more>>

Building the Capacity of Communities

We work with communities to identify and highlight effective cross-system approaches that can provide opportunities for youth to complete their education, enter the labor market and improve their life outcomes. Read more>>

Supports and Strategies for Youth of Color 

We highlight the depth of the disadvantaged and disconnected youth problem for young people of color in some of the nation's most challenged communities and propose strategic solutions. Read more>>

Oct 19, 2015  |  PERMALINK »

Back to School: Understanding the Landscape of Rural Dropout Recovery

By Clarence Okoh

With the new school-year underway, many districts are grappling with how to prevent an estimated 800,000 students from exiting school this year before earning a high school degree. While this issue affects many communities, it presents a unique set of challenges for America’s rural schools. Despite the scope of this crisis, federal, state, and local policymakers can take advantage of effective strategies to improve student graduation rates and strengthen rural schools.

The latest data from the US Department of Education (DOE) reports that the average freshman graduation rate for rural high school students was 80.6 percent, leaving nearly one of five rural youth without a high school degree. Consistent with urban trends, these numbers reflect a disproportionate impact on rural youth of color. A 2010 report from the Alliance for Excellent Education (AEE) indicates that the graduation rates for rural youth of color were 61 percent for Hispanic youth, 54 percent for African-American youth and 51 percent for Indian/Alaska Natives youth.

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Investing in Young Men of Color as Community Assets

On July 17, CLASP held its annual forum on boys and young men of color. "Investing in Young Men of Color as Community Assets" highlighted effective practices and policies that can close the gaps in education, employment, and health outcomes for boys and young men of color. Additionally, it discussed targeted federal investments in communities of concentrated poverty and creating opportunities for boys and young men of color to thrive.

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