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Raising the Grade: How High School Reform Can Save Our Youth and Our Nation

ISBN: 978-0-470-18027-3
304 pages
April 2008, Jossey-Bass
Raising the Grade: How High School Reform Can Save Our Youth and Our Nation (0470180277) cover image


Written by Bob Wise, former governor of West Virginia and current president of the Alliance for Excellent Education, Raising the Grade describes the alarming cost of our long-time neglect of secondary education. At a time when technology and postsecondary education requirements are rising dramatically in the workforce, the literacy skills of adolescents are not keeping pace. With most federal dollars targeted to elementary schools and higher education, few resources are allocated to improve high schools, to address the achievement gap threatening nearly 6 million students at risk of dropping out in the United States. Raising the Grade is rooted in the stories of real Americans whose high school experiences failed to engage or adequately prepare them for work or college.
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Table of Contents



1. America's High Schools: Ignoring Decades of Warnings.

2. The High Cost of High School Neglect.

3. Demography as Destiny: Race and Class Inequities.

4. Dropout Factories: Behind the Graduation Rate Charade.

5. Strengthening Adolescent Literacy: A National Priority.

6. Creating Quality High Schools: What Works?

7. Investing in High Schools: A New Federal Role.

8. Achieving the Vision.


A. In Need of Improvement: NCLB and High Schools.

B. Hidden Benefi ts: The Impact of High School Graduation on Household Wealth.

C. The High Cost of High School Dropouts: What the Nation Pays for Inadequate High Schools.

D. Paying Double: Inadequate High Schools and Community College Remediation.

E. Saving Futures, Saving Dollars: The Impact of Education on Crime Reduction and Earnings.

F. Elements of a Successful High School: Advocacy Action Matrix.



The Author.


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Author Information

Bob Wise, former governor of West Virginia from 2001–2005 and nine-term member of Congress, is president of the Alliance for Excellent Education, a national policy and advocacy organization that works to ensure that all students graduate from high school prepared for success. In his term as governor, Wise gained renown for his many education initiatives. Since joining the Alliance in 2005, Wise has become a sought-after speaker and advisor on education issues. The Alliance is based in Washington, DC (www.all4ed.org).
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Raising the Grade is highly recommended for community library education collections. (The MidWest Book Review, June 2008)

A former governor of West Virginia, now the p[resident of the Alliance for Education, lays out his plan for revitalizing secondary schooling. (Education Week, 05/21/08)

Bob Wise book urges reforms in high schools… Wise hopes that the book serves to remind people of the importance of every community high school. (The Charleston Gazette, 05/02/08)

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Related Websites / Extra

Alliance for Excellent EducationNon-profit educational organization championing high school reform and improvement. Headed by former governor, Bob Wise, with links to state agencies and and other educational NGOs.
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Raising the Grade: How High School Reform Can Save Our Youth and Our Nation (US $24.95)

-and- Tough Choices or Tough Times: The Report of the New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce, Revised and Expanded Edition (US $22.95)

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