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MDRC Releases Second Report Evaluating Diplomas Now

DOE_140x140Diplomas Now, through the U.S. Department of Education’s Investing in Innovation (i3) fund, is implementing a randomized control trial to evaluate the effectiveness of its model on improving student attendance, behavior and course performance. This evaluation, led by MDRC, is the largest randomized control trial of secondary school transformation in …


Best of Diplomas Now Nominations Now Open!

It’s time to nominate your colleagues for a Best of Diplomas Now Award! The Diplomas Now Best of awards recognize Schools, Principals, Site Teams, School Transformation Facilitators, City Year Program Managers, and Communities In Schools Site Coordinators for providing the best of the Diplomas Now model. Nominations can be made …


Queens Student Overcomes Major Family Health Challenge with Academic Triumph

Queens Student Overcomes Major Family Health Challenge with Academic Triumph

Ashley Rodriguez worried her father would never see her graduate from high school. In eighth grade, she learned he had cancer, and over the next few months, her father’s health quickly deteriorated as he underwent radiation treatments. Ashley put on a brave face at school, but her sleepless nights took a toll. When she entered Newtown High School in Queens five months after his diagnosis, Ashley was motivated to make something positive out of a negative situation. Diplomas Now helped her do just that.

This year, Ashley, 17, will graduate as one of the top students in her class—with both of her parents healthy, and proudly watching. In front of her: Acceptance letters from at least four colleges where she can study psychology, bringing her one step closer to her dream of becoming a police officer.

Fights and Anger Replaced by a Big Scholarship and Even Bigger Goals

Fights and Anger Replaced by a Big Scholarship and Even Bigger Goals

When Moises Arzu was a high school freshman, he got into a fight with his basketball coach and stormed off the court—in the middle of a game. This year, instead of walking off the court, Moises plans to stride purposefully across the stage at Booker T. Washington High School’s graduation ceremony in Miami. The former regular at after-school detention today is the proud recipient of a Florida Bright Futures college scholarship worth $100,000, awarded for outstanding academic performance.

Moises is part of the first class of students who have had Diplomas Now at their high schools for four full years. Moises paints a grim picture of what his life could have been like without the support of Diplomas Now, a partnership of Talent Development Secondary at Johns Hopkins, City Year and Communities In Schools.

Ready to Graduate After Four Years with Diplomas Now

Ready to Graduate After Four Years with Diplomas Now

Four years ago, Stevaughn Dowdy was a tall – almost 5’11’’ – quiet, withdrawn freshman at The English High School in Boston. His mother had died unexpectedly, and he had to move in with his aunt. His charismatic cousin was pressing Stevaughn to join his powerful gang. Under extreme stress, Stevaughn responded by punching and breaking school windows, cutting class, and refusing to respond to adults’ questions. His report card had an F, three Cs and two Bs. He missed eight days of school and was late 22 times that year.

Today, as a senior, Stevaughn is still tall but he is captain of The English’s varsity football and basketball teams, has near perfect attendance, excellent behavior and had two Bs and five As, including an A+ on his report card. He is applying to four-year colleges. Stevaughn credits Diplomas Now, which has been operating at The English for four years, with helping him make the right decisions and get on track.

Starting the School Year Off Right

Starting the School Year Off Right

The 2014-2015 school year is off to a strong start at Diplomas Now schools. The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education announced that the Burke High School in Boston has met its turnaround goals. Texas state metrics show Burbank High School is the most successful comprehensive high school in the San Antonio Independent School District. Sophomores at Cardozo Education Campus in Washington, D.C., made double-digit gains on reading proficiency tests.

Diplomas Now Releases New Video

Diplomas Now just released a new video highlighting the national dropout crisis and explaining how the Diplomas Now partnership works to improve graduation rates in schools across the country. Diplomas Now provides the right support to the right students at the right time to make our country stronger.

New MDRC Report Highlights and Evaluates Diplomas Now

Diplomas Now, through the U.S. Department of Education’s Investing in Innovation (i3) fund, is implementing a randomized control trial to evaluate the effectiveness of its model on improving student attendance, behavior and course performance. This evaluation, led by MDRC, is the largest randomized control trial of secondary school transformation in the nation’s history and has the potential to have significant influence on the way that schools are supported for years to come. The first of three i3 reports from MDRC has been released, and highlights school recruitment and the first year of model implementation at schools, with a focus on establishing baseline information on school operating conditions and Diplomas Now model fidelity.