Niagara Gazette


May 22, 2013

BRADBERRY: Peaceful place to learn, to think


Niagara Gazette — Though we have made significant strides forward, we continue to face some nagging challenges.

As one recent report notes, for the first time in decades, the United States is making steady gains in the number of high school students earning diplomas, putting it on pace to reach a 90 percent graduation rate by 2020.”

But, the report adds, “Minority students also continue to fall well behind their white peers, with about one-third of African-American students and 29 percent of Hispanic students dropping out before graduation”.

The “Building a Grad Nation” report, co-authored by Johns Hopkins University’s Robert Balfanz, found that the national graduation rate jumped from 71.7 percent in 2001 to 78.2 percent in 2010, “with the pace of improvement accelerating in the past few years.”

“For the first time in 40 years, we have seen significant, sustained improvement,” according to John Bridgeland, a co-author of the study and the chief executive of Civic Enterprises, a public policy group in Washington, D.C.

As the new Boards of Education take their seats they must devise new cooperative strategies aimed at seriously addressing the underlying issues that continue to contribute to our failure to rise to our potential; more effective strategies must be considered and implemented.

Perhaps a serious Western New York Education Summit, set in the pristine calm of Chautauqua, away from the hustle-bustle might provide just the right environment for our Boards to come up with some new approaches toward one of our most perplexing challenges.

We simply cannot afford to keep doing what we have always done and expect different results.

Contact Bill Bradberry at

Contact Bill at

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