Monthly Archives: January 2010


The NationalGovernorsAssociationCenter for Best Practices has selected Colorado and five other states to take part in a year-long initiative aimed at increasing high school graduation rates. Colorado, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Tennessee and West Virginia will help develop comprehensive state dropout prevention and recovery policies through the new “State Strategies to Achieve Graduation for All” effort.

“Graduation for All” will help states clearly identify their dropout problem; assess gaps in student supports for dropout prevention and student recovery; and create a dropout prevention and recovery action plan for implementation that includes tactics such as state policies, executive orders, advisory councils, legislation or regulatory reforms.


Since taking office, Gov. Bill Ritter has made education a top priority, holding three statewide dropout prevention summits, helping to establish a new Office of Dropout Prevention and Student Re-engagement, and creating a P-20 Education Council. Gov. Ritter currently chairs the NGA’s Education, Early Childhood and Workforce Committee.


“Thanks to the hard work of educators, policymakers and stakeholders throughout the state, Colorado is becoming a nationally recognized leader in education reform,” Gov. Ritter said. “While we are seeing pockets of progress, thousands of Colorado students are still dropping out of school each year, limiting their job opportunities and making it harder to become career or college ready. This initiative will allow Colorado to help shape a national strategy, achieve my goal 10-year goal of cutting Colorado’s dropout rate in half, and move us closer to the day when ‘graduation for all’ is truly a reality.”


“Improving our education system has been a top priority for Gov. Ritter and me since we took office,” said Lt. Gov. Barbara O’Brien, who is spearheading several of the administration’s education-reform efforts. “This initiative will help us continue solving the dropout problem one student at a time, because every student who stays in school, every student who improves their attendance and achievement, and every student who returns to school after dropping out is a success.


The Governor’s Office will be partnering with the Colorado Department of Education’s Office of Dropout Prevention and Student Re-engagement and the Colorado Graduates Initiative on this effort. CGI is a partnership of the Colorado Children’s Campaign, Colorado Youth for a Change, and the Partnership for Families and Children, with support from the Donnell-Kay Foundation.


“When a student drops out of high school, it hurts that individual’s opportunity for a bright, successful future and is a loss to society as a whole,” said John Thomasian, director of the NGACenter. “Those who drop out of high school are less likely than others to be employed, more likely to receive public assistance and more likely to be incarcerated. The State Strategies to Achieve Graduation for All initiative will help the selected states devise policies to combat the dropout problem.”

The initiative is informed by a report recently released by the NGA Center, Achieving Graduation for All: A Governor’s Guide to Dropout Prevention and Recovery, which identifies the root causes of the high school dropout problem and offers an action plan for states to curb dropouts, help youth succeed and strengthen state economies. Specific recommendations contained in the report for states to reduce the incidence of students not completing high school include promoting high school graduation for all; targeting youth at-risk of dropping out; reengaging youth who have dropped out of school; and providing rigorous, relevant options for earning a high school diploma.

Throughout the State Strategies to Achieve Graduation for All initiative, state teams will be afforded technical assistance opportunities aimed at increasing their breadth and depth of knowledge concerning dropout prevention and recovery. States will also receive assistance from national dropout experts and participate in policy academy meetings designed to address issues and challenges surrounding dropout prevention and recovery.

For more information about this initiative and other NGA Center Education Division efforts, visit





            Monday, Jan. 4, 2010


            9 to 10 a.m.                 Gov. Ritter will make his regular monthly appearance on the Mike Rosen radio show on 850 AM KOA.


            Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2010


10:30 a.m.                   Gov. Ritter, Lt. Gov. O’Brien and lawmakers will announce three new pieces of legislation to help create jobs in Colorado’s growing film, arts and other creative industries. A recent economic analysis shows that creative industries support 186,000 jobs in Colorado, making it the 5th largest employment sector and among the fastest growing job clusters in the state. Location: Newell Design Studio, 2644 Walnut, Denver.