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My Brother's Keeper Alliance

Every American child should be college and career ready.

The dropout rate for all students is down, and college enrollment rates are at an all-time high, yet there remain significant gaps, where many young people leave high school without a diploma or the preparation needed to succeed in college or a career.

Research has demonstrated that schools with effective leaders, committed staff, involved parents, a supportive climate, and ambitious learning goals are successful in educating all students. Research has also demonstrated benefits from expanded learning time that enriches students’ learning; partnerships with local businesses and post-secondary partners that link school work to real-world expectations and experiences; and out of school opportunities and community-based programs that enrich learning and reduce incidences of violence and crime. Together, these practices are strengthening the pipeline from high school into college and careers.

To drive real change in our community, we must seek opportunities to:

  • Increase Student Attendance and Reduce Dropouts – Especially Among the Most Vulnerable, such as Foster and Homeless Youth

  • Create the Conditions for High-Quality Education for All

  • Accelerate Efforts to Transform High Schools with the Lowest Graduation Rates

  • Promote the Use of Alternatives to Exclusionary Discipline Practices

  • Increase Access to and Success in Rigorous Coursework

Key Principles

1. A data system that tracks the allocation of resources across schools can highlight disparities and opportunity gaps for students in your community.

2. Focus intensively on the schools that produce the largest number of school dropouts and, among other actions, develop alternative pathways to graduation.

3. The quality of education offered in public schools depends on having high expectations for students from all backgrounds. Schools must provide a rigorous curriculum, including Advanced Placement (AP) / International Baccalaureate (IB) and dual enrollment options, as well as highly effective teachers to help ensure that every child realizes his / her potential.

4. Adoption of promising and evidence-based practices should be identified and accelerated throughout the community, including early warning systems to reduce dropouts.

5. Creating opportunities for expanded learning time in school and quality time out of school can help engage students and accelerate socio-emotional and academic learning and health.

6. Resources should be available to encourage positive school climates with the social, emotional, and behavioral supports to ensure success for all youth.

7. Discriminatory discipline policies should be ended and supportive school discipline models should be implemented across the P-12 system.


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Donate to the Barack Obama Foundation. The Barack Obama Foundation is registered as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization (EIN 46-4950751).


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6 Milestones

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