In the News
Graduation Matters Montana
Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau believes we need to set an expectation that every child graduates from high school.
Montana's Graduation Rate:
We can do Better
In the 2009-2010 school year, 2,010 students in grades 7 through 12 dropped out.
Priority Legislation in 2011:
Raising the Legal Dropout Age
I want to hear from you! Do you have ideas to improve the graduation rate? What do you think about my proposal to raise the legal dropout age to "age 18 or upon graduation?"
Schools can't do it alone. We need students, parents, businesses, and community leaders to join us to make Graduation Matters Montana a success. Check back soon for ways that you can get involved in your school or community.
What is Graduation Matters Montana?
As better data became available about Montana's graduation rate, it was clear that action was needed to address the dropout rate in Montana. Based on early positive results from a local initiative, Graduation Matters Missoula, Superintendent Juneau launched Graduation Matters Montana, a statewide effort to increase our state's graduation rate.
Over 2,000 students drop out from Montana schools every year. Making sure all students have opportunity and access to higher education and good paying jobs is more meaningful for our state and our country than ever before. Making sure all students receive a quality K-12 education – and that they walk out the door as young adults with a diploma or certificate in their hand - is urgent and essential work.
Objectives of Graduation Matters Montana:
- Increase the rate of Montana students graduating from high school college- and career-ready.
- Establish a support network between schools, businesses and community organizations for student success.
- Create school-based and community-based opportunities for student success.
Key Strategies of Graduation Matters Montana
- Pass legislation to raise the legal dropout age from "age 16" to "age 18 or upon graduation."
- Established the first-ever State Superintendent's Student Advisory Board to provide a student perspective about dropout prevention.
- Updated OPI's data-collecting capacity to ensure we know the exact scope of the problem.
- Requested funding to allow every high school junior to take the ACT test, giving them the access and opportunity to go to college.
- Become a state partner in the "Partnership for 21st Century Skills," an initiative to ensure Montana students are armed with the skills and tools they need to enter college and be competitive in the 21st century workforce.
- Join 40 other states in adopting evidence-based National Common Core Standards in English Language Arts and Math that are higher, clearer and more rigorous benchmarks for student achievement.
- Building business partnerships to connect businesses and industry to student success.
- Work with schools, post-secondary education and businesses to establish Big Sky Pathways which provides quality career preparation for students.
- Work to improve Montana's lowest performing schools through OPI's Schools of Promise initiative.
- Support flexibility in learning through programs such as the Montana Digital Academy a new program which offers students access to online courses taught by Montana teachers.