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Common Goal is a well-defined set of initiatives and interventions aimed at increasing the Marion County high school graduation rate from 70% to 80%. Everything we're doing is shaped by Indianapolis educators and validated by national research. All of us- educators, community organizations, and business leaders- are focused on moving key indicators in the right direction, and increasing the number of Marion County graduates.
In Marion County, and in cities across the nation, low high school graduation rates are raising national alarm. It's a complex issue driven by a multitude of factors. But even in the presence of large barriers, the path to success begins with individual students.
Common Goal aims to raise the graduation rate to 80 percent and decrease the number of high school drop-outs to 5 percent by 2011. That's the big picture outcome. For the students we serve, we aspire to nothing short of changing lives that may be on a dangerous failure course.
Spearheaded by the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, Common Goal is an active collaboration of educators, community organizations, and business leaders including The Mind Trust, the City of Indianapolis, United Way of Central Indiana, Center for Leadership Development, CELL, the Indianapolis Urban League and the Indiana Department of Education and many others.
Studies show us that to improve graduation rates we must focus on early identification of students who need help with reading, math, or catching up on credits. Other students need a smaller school or self-paced courses. Still others need social services, a positive role model or an internship to provide encouragement and increase school engagement.
The Common Goal Task Force is focused on a small group of initiatives, some tactical, some strategic, all relevant for creating the kinds of schools we need, and students deserve. The Common Goal Task Force works in collaboration with educators to design customized programs and interventions for each of the eleven school districts in Marion County.
- Jessica Heiser
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